Materials: Biodegradeble Magnesium Alloy

11/15/2013
Photo: CT image

CT image of a biodegradable device that is connected to bone tissue six months after transplantation into an animal; © KIST

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has created a magnesium alloy from minerals essential to the human body. The material has been approved for clinical testing.

This biodegradable and bioabsorbable metal decomposes from 6 months to 2 years after being transplanted into human body and hence, medical devices made with these materials are expected to reshape the landscape in the field of fracture treatment, as it makes a second operation to remove the device after patient recovery obsolete.

The KIST Consortium succeeded in developing high strength/low biodegradable metal made from basic elements and minerals essential to human body. The Consortium also developed biodegradable and bioabsorbable medical devices for use in orthopedics and plastic surgery while earning approval to clinically test the device. The clinical trial is currently in progress conducted by Ajou University Medical Center.

The heart of the research is matching potentials between the matrix structure of metal and the secondary agents on the matrix structure to overcome the fundamental limitation of metal materials, which is speedy degradation. Using this application, new innovative materials can be developed such as metal alloy with the 2nd and 3rd additional elements while still maintaining the electrochemical nature of pure metal. The remarkable achievement was made possible thanks to the Computational Materials Science Laboratory at Kookmin University (led by Prof. Cha Phil-ryung), which helped to create the effects of synergy between computer simulation and technology.

With extensive support of the Seoul Strategic Industry Initiative, the key support program of the Seoul City government for Smaller enterprises' R&D, KIST Consortium has received approval to clinically test these metals from the Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety as a bioabsorbable fixation device to be used in orthopedics and plastic surgery.

COMPAMED.de; Source: KIST