Bioabsorbable Alloys for Medical Implants

Magnesium Elektron, a world leader in the development, manufacture and supply of high performance magnesium alloys, today gave details of its research activities in the area of bio-absorbable magnesium alloys for medical implants.

The company confirmed that for several years it has been actively working on the development and production of bio-absorbable magnesium alloys at its Magnesium Technology Centre in Manchester, UK. The work has involved extensive research into numerous alloy systems and the development of novel manufacturing technologies.

The last decade has seen a significant increase in the amount of research being undertaken across the globe on bio-absorbable materials, particularly in the fields of orthopaedic trauma fixation and vascular intervention, where the use of metallic implants is commonplace. Magnesium alloys offer the potential to combine the mechanical property benefits of metallic implants with the bio-absorbable nature of degradable polymers.

The promising initial research undertaken by Elektron in this field led to the creation of a dedicated team to further the development of the technologies that emerged. In conducting its research, Elektron has worked in close collaboration with its university network and a number of leading medical device companies in Europe, Japan and North America. Through these collaborative programmes, the new Elektron Synermag® range of bio-absorbable alloy technologies has already undergone considerable in-vitro and in-vivo evaluations. Further evaluations and trials are planned during 2012.

Commenting on the activity, Graham Wardlow, Managing Director of the UK operations, stated that “the development continues our seventy year history of creating new platform technologies involving magnesium, previously focusing on the aerospace, defence and nuclear power sectors. In this developing field of healthcare materials, we have combined our existing material know-how with new ideas and technologies; supporting the research drive of medical device companies to produce bio-absorbable metallic implants that offer improved patient outcomes.”

Magnesium Elektron