The objective of this study was to prepare a new biodegradable Mg-based biomaterial, which provides good mechanical integrity in combination with anti-inflammatory function during the degradation process. The silver element was used, because it improved the mechanical properties as an effective grain refiner and it is also treated as a potential anti-inflammatory core. The new degradable Mg-Zn-Ag biomaterial was prepared by zone solidification technology and extrusion. The mechanical properties were mostly enhanced by fine grain strengthening. In addition, the alloys exhibited good cytocompatibility. The anti-inflammatory function of degradation products was identified by both interleukin-1α and nitric oxide modes. The anti-inflammatory impact was significantly associated with the concentration of silver ion. It was demonstrated that Mg-Zn-Ag system was a potential metallic stent with anti-inflammatory function, which can reduce the long-term dependence of anti-inflammatory drug after coronary stent implantation. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2013.