Iranian researchers from Isfahan University of Technology solved the problem of high corrosion in magnesium alloys with applications in tissue engineering, using fluorapatite nanoparticles.
"Magnesium-based materials have recently showed appropriate potentials to be used as biodegradable metallic implants in the treatment of bone tissues due to their perfect properties such as strength and biocompatibility," Mehdi Razavi, one of the researchers, said in an interview with the news service of INIC, adding, "However, the high rate of corrosion is a big challenge in the application of magnesium alloys."
"The design and preparation of nanocomposites based on magnesium alloy can act as a good solution to solve this problem. Many investigations have recently been carried out on fluorapatite (FA=Ca10(PO4)6F2) due to its low solubility and its presence in natural bone and tooth, and also due to its positive effect on fluoride ion in the bone growth," he continued.
"Moreover, fluoride ion has been known as an appropriate agent for grafting apatite. Test results have confirmed that fluorapatite nanoparticles have low solubility, desirable cellular adhesion, and suitable phosphate activity."
Stressing that the Iranian researchers' studies show that the addition of fluorapatite nanoparticles has a significant effect on mechanical properties and corrosive and biological behavior of AZ91 magnesium alloy, Razavi said, "In addition, magnesium-fluorapatite composites have a better corrosion resistance compared with magnesium alloys."
"The addition of fluorapatite nanoparticles as reinforcement agent to AZ91 magnesium alloy improves and speeds up the formation of pseudo-bone apatite on the surface, thus, it provides a better protection. It is also expected that the formation of pseudo-bone apatite on the surface results in an improvement in the bone growth within the body in clinical applications," he concluded.
Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council
The research has been published in detail in Materials Characterization, vol. 61, pp. 1363-1370, 2010.