Effect of inorganic salts, amino acids and proteins on the degradation of pure magnesium in vitro

Akiko Yamamoto, Sachiko Hiromoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

311 Citations (Scopus)


The possibility of magnesium and its alloys in medical applications is actively investigated in these days for the realization of biodegradable metallic devices. However, the degradation behavior and mechanisms of magnesium and its alloys in physiological environment such as inside the human body have not been elucidated. In this study, we performed 14-d long immersion tests of pure magnesium (3N) in 4 kinds of physiological solutions simulating the body fluids to examine the effects of the chemical components of the body fluids on the degradation of magnesium. The degradation rate of pure magnesium was strongly influenced by the kinds of the solution used. The highest degradation rate was obtained in NaCl, followed by E-MEM, Earle's solution, and E-MEM+FBS. The average degradation rate in NaCl for 8-14 d is about 100 times larger than that in E-MEM+FBS, which is the closest solution to human blood plasma. These results show that protein adsorption and insoluble salt formation retarded magnesium degradation, whereas organic compounds such as amino acids encourage the dissolution of magnesium. Buffering the solution also influenced the degradation rate; buffering NaCl with HEPES increased the degradation rate but buffering with NaHCO3 decreased it. Based on these results, the use of appropriate solution such as E-MEM+FBS is important for in vitro evaluation of the magnesium degradation rate under the physiological environment simulating inside the human body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1559-1568
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun 1


  • Bioabsorbable metals
  • Biodegradation
  • Corrosion
  • Magnesium
  • Protein adsorption


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