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Influences of passivating elements on the corrosion and biocompatibility of super stainless steels

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Abstract

Biometals need high corrosion resistance since metallic implants in the body should be biocompatible and metal ion release should be minimized. In this work, we designed three kinds of super stainless steel and adjusted the alloying elements to obtain different microstructures. Super stainless steels contain larger amounts of Cr, Mo, W, and N than commercial alloys. These elements play a very important role in localized corrosion and, thus, their effects can be represented by the “pitting resistance equivalent number (PREN).” This work focused on the behavior which can arise when the bare surface of an implant in the body is exposed during walking, heavy exercise, and so on. Among the experimental alloys examined herein, Alloy Al and 316L stainless steels were mildly cytotoxic, whereas the other super austenitic, duplex, and ferritic stainless steels were noncytotoxic. This behavior is primarily related to the passive current and pitting resistance of the alloys. When the PREN value was increased, the passivation behavior in simulated body solution was totally different from that in acidic chloride solution and, thus, the Cr2O3/Cr(OH)3 and [Metal oxide]/[Metal + Metal oxide] ratios of the passive film in the simulated body solution were larger than those in acidic chloride solution. Also, the critical current density in simulated body solution increased and, thus, active dissolution may induce metal ion release into the body when the PREN value and Ni content are increased. This behavior was closely related to the presence of EDTA in the simulated body solution. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2008

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