The Effect of Mn on the Mechanical Properties and In Vitro Behavior of Biodegradable Zn-2%Fe Alloy

Lital Ben Tzion-Mottye, Tomer Ron, Dan Eliezer, Eli Aghion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The attractiveness of Zn-based alloys as structural materials for biodegradable implants mainly relates to their excellent biocompatibility, critical physiological roles in the human body and excellent antibacterial properties. Furthermore, in in vivo conditions, they do not tend to produce hydrogen gas (as occurs in the case of Mg-based alloys) or voluminous oxide (as occurs in Fe-based alloys). However, the main disadvantages of Zn-based alloys are their reduced mechanical properties and their tendency to provoke undesirable fibrous encapsulation due to their relatively high standard reduction potential. The issue of fibrous encapsulation was previously addressed by the authors via the development of the Zn-2%Fe alloy that was selected as the base alloy for this study. This development assumed that the addition of Fe to pure Zn can create a microgalvanic effect between the Delta phase (Zn11Fe) and the Zn-matrix that significantly increases the biodegradation rate of the alloy. The aim of the present study is to examine the effect of up to 0.8% Mn on the mechanical properties of biodegradable Zn-2%Fe alloy and to evaluate the corrosion behavior and cytotoxicity performance in in vitro conditions. The selection of Mn as an alloying element is related to its vital role in the synthesis of proteins and the activation of enzyme systems, as well as the fact that Mn is not considered to be a toxic element. Microstructure characterization was carried out by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), while phase analysis was obtained by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Mechanical properties were examined in terms of hardness and tensile strength, while corrosion performance and electrochemical behavior were assessed by immersion tests, open circuit potential examination, potentiodynamic polarization analysis and impedance spectroscopy. All the in vitro corrosion testing was performed in a simulated physiological environment in the form of a phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution. The cytotoxicity performance was evaluated by indirect cell viability analysis, carried out according to the ISO 10993-5/12 standard using Mus musculus 4T1 cells. The obtained results clearly demonstrate the strengthening effect of the biodegradable Zn-2%Fe alloy due to Mn addition. The effect of Mn on in vitro corrosion degradation was insignificant, while in parallel Mn had a favorable effect on indirect cell viability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1291
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Zn–Fe–Mn
  • biodegradable implants
  • cell viability
  • in vitro
  • zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Metals and Alloys


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