Surface Modification and Coatings for Controlling the Degradation and Bioactivity of Magnesium Alloys for Medical Applications

  • Ian Johnson
  • Jiajia Lin
  • Huinan Liu


Magnesium (Mg) alloys have great potential as materials for biodegradable implants and devices because of their excellent mechanical and biological properties; such as the similarity of their mechanical properties to cortical bone and their osteoconductivity. However, Mg alloys degrade rapidly in vivo, which reduces the local pH and can harm cells. Coatings and surface treatments can control the degradation rate of Mg alloys by limiting the diffusion of water and ions to the Mg surface. Coatings can also increase the osteoconductivity of the surface of Mg implants. Polymers and ceramics are frequently used as coating materials, and the processes of their deposition can further tailor the properties of coatings for their intended roles. The controlled degradation and osteoconductivity of Mg implants using coatings will lead to their replacement with natural tissue after they have fulfilled their function; which will avoid foreign body complications and prevent the need for implant removal surgeries.


Magnesium Coating Surface modification Degradation Biomedical implant Degradable metal Anodization Micro-arc oxidation Calcium phosphate Polymer Dip coating Spin coating Bioactive factor 



The authors thank U.S. National Science Foundation (Award 1512764, 1125801) and National Institutes of Health (Award 1R03AR069373-01) for financial support. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dental and Craniofacial Trauma ResearchUS Army Institute of Surgical ResearchHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of California, RiversideRiversideUSA
  3. 3.Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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