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Journal of magnesium
and alloys

Current Issue

Production and characterisation of new bioresorbable radiopaque Mg–Zn–Y alloy to improve X-ray visibility of polymeric scaffolds

Available online 10 July 2022

Full Length Article

Alok Srivastava, Naresh Bhatnagar


For the medical diagnosis, radiopaque materials (RM) made from high specific gravity elements like Pt, Au, Ta, Iodine, Bromine are either attached or blended or coated on an implant to makes it detectable under X-ray/Fluoroscopy/CT-Scan. RM facilitate the surgeon in an operation theatre to position an implant during the surgery. Mainly, RM are non-degradable, thus in case of biodegradable implants, it may detach from the body and accumulate in vital organ cause serious health issue. Therefore, a new bioresorbable radiopaque material (BRM) was produced by alloying the high specific gravity elements Zn (35% w/w) and Y(4% w/w) with Mg metal. In this alloy, three main phases were identified, alpha Mg, Mg7Zn3 and icosahedral quasicrystalline I-phase Mg3Zn6Y, which reinforce the Mg matrix.

Hereafter, BRM was powdered to a size of less than 25 microns and blended in different ratios with bioresorbable poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) for fabricating PLLA/BRM bio-composite. BRM microparticles were uniformly distributed and interfacial bonded with the matrix. The X-ray was passed through bio-composite to capture µCT radiograph for evaluating linear attenuation co-efficient (µ) and optical density (OD). Thermal analysis reveals that BRM particles act as a nucleating site and enhance the crystallinity of the polymeric chain. During the In Vitro accelerated degradation study, the alkaline nature of BRM neutralise the acidity of PLLA and balance the pH of the body fluid to reduce the inflammatory reactions, but this compromises the stability of the polymer as it increases the decomposition rate.


Magnesium alloys; X-ray; Quasicrystal; Polymer matrix composites; Radiopacity

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