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Minerva Biotecnologica 2009 December;21(4):207-16

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Degradable metallic biomaterials: the concept, current developments and future directions

Hermawan H., Mantovani D.

Laboratory for Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, University Hospital Research Center, Laval University, Québec City, QC, Canada


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Since the beginning of 2000, research interest in degradable metallic biomaterials has been growing. This novel class of biomaterials is intended for use in treatment of temporary clinical problems such as narrowed arteries, fractured bones and congenital cardiovascular defects. In concept, implants made of degradable biomaterials are expected to provide a temporary support on healing process of diseased tissues and progressively degrade thereafter. Potential applications of degradable implants are cardiovascular, orthopedic and pediatric including coronary stents and bone fixation screws/pins. Recently, degradable stents made of metallic biomaterials have been clinically studied in humans; meanwhile, degradable bone implants have been assessed by implantation in animals. This article reviews the current research and developments in degradable metallic biomaterials focussing on proving the concept through biological assessments and discussing current limitations and future developments.

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