Biodegradable Metallic Implants


Some current FDA-approved and commonly-used metallic biomaterials include stainless steels, titanium and cobalt-chromium-based alloys. Concerns of increased toxicity followed reports that corrosion or wear could cause degradation of the metallic biomaterials. Increased toxicity could lead to inflammation, tissue loss, infections or death; all outcomes would be accompanied by increased medical procedures and costs. There exists a critical need to develop biodegradable metallic implants; specifically, stents and orthopedic fracture management devices. The developed proprietary magnesium (Mg) alloy coatings could serve as a lightweight, degradable, implant material that maintains its mechanical integrity while the tissue heals. The Mg would eventually be replaced by the natural tissue.


  • Magnesium is 4.5 times less dense than medical grade stainless steel.
  • The fracture toughness of magnesium is greater than ceramic biomaterials such as hydroxyapatite.
  • The elastic modulus and compressive yield strength of magnesium are closer to those of natural bone than is the case for other commonly used metallic implants.
  • Magnesium is essential to human metabolism and is naturally found in bone tissue.
  • Magnesium alloys offer less invasive repair and temporary support during tissue recovery.
  • Magnesium offers the possibility of better physiological repair and better reconstruction of vascular compliance with minimum inflammatory response.


  • Bone implants, arterial stents, spine implants, scaffolding material, etc.


  • Available for license/purchase and patent-pending
  • Potential for ongoing collaboration with inventors, Dr. Anil Mahapatro, and Wichita State University researchers
Available Tech Biodegradable


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Rob Gerlach
Director of Technology Transfer