On the surface properties of biodegrading magnesium and its alloys: A survey and discussion

J L Wang, N T Kirkland, X B Chen, J A Lyndon, N. Birbilis

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Biodegradable magnesium (Mg) alloys present exceptional promise as functional implants, as evidenced by the significant research effort associated with the topic in recent years. However, a salient point regarding the degradation of Mg and Mg-alloys-in any aqueous environment, including biological media-is the certain presence and accumulation of surface films, representing dissolution products. The corrosion of Mg does not require that bare metal surfaces be presented to the surrounding environment, it follows that any tissue or cells in the immediate vicinity of a Mg-based implant will therefore be in intimate contact with the dissolution products of Mg. To this end, the present work describes the typical Mg/Mg-alloy surface evolution during dissolution in biological media, and the associated factors which govern the morphology and control of surface films. This combines original research with review, finishing with prospects for further illumination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014005
Number of pages9
JournalSurface Topography: Metrology and Properties
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Biodegradable
  • Biomaterials
  • Corrosion
  • Hydroxide
  • Magnesium
  • Oxide

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