In vivo investigation of Zr-based bulk metallic glasses sub-periosteally implanted on the bone surface
- K. Imai
- J. Mater. Sci. Chem. Eng. 2016,
Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) show higher strength and lower Young's modulus than Ti-6Al-4V alloy and SUS 316L stainless steel. This study aimed to perform in vivo evaluations of Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5 BMGs for osteosynthesis devices. In the study for intramedullary implants, osteotomies of the femoral bones were performed in male Wistar rats and were stabilized with Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5 BMGs, Ti-6Al-4V alloy, or 316L stainless steel intramedullary nails for 12 weeks. In the study for bone surface implants, Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5 BMGs ribbons were implanted on the femur surface for 6 weeks. Local effects on the surrounding soft tissues of the implanted BMGs were assessed by histological observation. Implanted materials' surfaces were examined using scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). In the study for intramedullary implants, bone healing after osteotomy was assessed by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and mechanical tests. Histological observation showed no findings of the biological effects. SEM-EDS showed no noticeable change on the surface of BMGs, while Ca and P deposition was seen on the Ti-6Al-4V alloy surface, and irregularities were seen on the 316L stainless steel surface. Mechanical test and peripheral QCT showed that, although there was no significant difference, bone healing of BMGs was more than that of Ti-6Al-4V alloy. The results indicated that Zr-based BMGs can lead to bone healing equal to or greater than Ti-6Al-4V alloy. Zr-based BMGs exhibited the advantage of less bone bonding and easier implant removal compared with Ti-6Al-4V alloy. In conclusion, Zr-based BMGs are promising for osteosynthesis devices that are eventually removed.