Magnesium (Mg) alloys have significant potential for use as bioresorbable orthopaedic implant devices due to their controllable mechanical properties and an ability to promote new bone growth. However, difficulty lies with controlling the rate of corrosion in physiological conditions to ensure the load-bearing capability of the device is maintained for the required period of time, specifically until an adequate quantity of new bone tissue is formed. In this work, RF magnetron sputtering has been used to create calcium phosphate (CaP) and strontium-substituted calcium phosphate (SrCaP) thin film coatings on two Mg alloy systems (denoted WJK and ZEWX) that have been formulated for the fabrication of orthopaedic fracture fixation devices. A 14-day static-dynamic immersion study in simulated body fluid (SBF), shows that uncoated WJK substrates had a corrosion rate of 4.04 ± 0.15 millimetres per year (mmpy), which was reduced to 3.22 ± 0.17 mmpy with the application of a CaP coating, and to 2.92 ± 0.05 mmpy with a SrCaP coating. Uncoated ZEWX substrates had a corrosion rate of 3.36 ± 0.05 mmpy which was reduced to 2.98 ± 0.19 mmpy and 2.79 ± 0.03 mmpy, for CaP and SrCaP coatings, respectively. Whereas the sputter-deposited CaP and SrCaP coatings completely dissolve in SBF over the period of immersion, their presence at the outset significantly decreases the corrosion rate of both Mg alloys, as compared to the values for the uncoated substrates. Successful incorporation of Sr within the coating offers the potential for improved bioactivity with respect to directing the bone cell response to create new tissue.
- Corrosion rate
- Magnesium alloys
- Micro-computed tomography (μCT)
- RF magnetron sputter deposition
- Strontium-substituted calcium phosphate coatings