In vivo evaluation of Zr-based bulk metallic glass alloy intramedullary nails in rat femora

Kazuhiro Imai, Sachiko Hiromoto

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Zr-based bulk metallic glasses (BMG) show high corrosion resistance in vitro and higher strength and lower Young's modulus than crystalline alloys with the similar composition. This study aimed to perform an in vivo evaluation of Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5 BMG. Osteotomy of the femur was done in rats and stabilized with intramedullary nails made of Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5 BMG, Ti-6Al-4V alloy, or 316L stainless steel. Systemic and local effects of each type of nail were evaluated by measuring the levels of Cu and Ni in the blood and the surrounding soft tissue. Changes of the surface of each nail were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Healing of the osteotomy was evaluated by peripheral quantitative computed tomography and mechanical testing. No increase of Cu and Ni levels was recognized. Surface of the BMG showed no noticeable change, while Ti-6Al-4V alloy showed Ca and P deposition and 316L stainless steel showed surface irregularities and pitting by SEM observation. The stress strain index, maximum torque, torsional stiffness, and energy absorption values were larger for the BMG than those for Ti-6Al-4V alloy, although there was no significant difference. The Zr-based BMG can promote osteotomy healing as fast as Ti-6Al-4V alloy, with the possible advantage of the Zr-based BMG that bone bonding is less likely, allowing easier nail removal compared with Ti-6Al-4V alloy. The Zr-based BMG is promising for the use in osteosynthetic devices that are eventually removed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-768
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar


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