The research activities at the KKS focus on the ex-situ and in-situ analysis of the microstructural and corrosion properties of biodegradable magnesium alloys. This class of materials is a very promising candidate for employing as temporary implants since their mechanical and physical properties resemble those of human bone and are, moreover, biocompatible. The aqueous corrosion of magnesium is exploited in order to manufacture an implant which degrades in the human body leaving as little residue products as possible. In this way, post-healing surgical procedures to remove the implants are eliminated.
A current challenge in alloy design involves employing only non-toxic elements to reduce the magnesium alloy’s degradation rate in the human body. Here, the degradation properties are essentially influenced by the microstructure, the alloying elements as well as the manufacturing process. Besides conventional analytical methods and degradation testing, 3D-synchrotron characterisations are currently carried out. In addition to this, the main focus of attention is a basic understanding of interfacial reactions in complex organic and inorganic electrolyte systems. This is essential for enhancing the corrosion testing cells and solutions, and serves to optimally correlate in-vitro and in-vivo test results.