Corrosion of Biomaterials: Electrochemical Techniques, in Vitro Test, and Methods to Mitigate Corrosion

Corrosion of Biomaterials: Electrochemical Techniques, in Vitro Test, and Methods to Mitigate Corrosion

Oscar Sotelo-Mazon (CIATEQ A. C., Mexico), John Henao (CONACYT-CIATEQ A. C., Mexico), Astrid Lorena Giraldo-Betancur (CONACYT-CINVESTAV, Mexico), Carlos A. Poblano-Salas (CIATEQ A. C., Mexico) and Jorge Corona-Castuera (CIATEQ A. C., Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2775-7.ch003
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The goal of this chapter is to define concepts and methods currently used to study the corrosion behavior of biomaterials in physiological conditions. One of the interesting points of corrosion of biomaterials is that they must be designed to fulfill different physical and chemical requirements within the human body. For instance, ceramic biomaterials are designed, sometimes, to accomplish a bone growth task. Alternatively, bioceramics are also employed to provide high wear resistance to implant surfaces with the lowest corrosion activity in biological environment. Depending on the part of the human body where the biomaterial is implanted, the corrosion process and chemical interaction with body fluids can be accelerated, and consequently, the product of these reactions can have a negative effect in the health of the patients. For this reason, the chapter is also focused on explaining how to study the interaction between biomaterial surface and body fluids as well as the existing methods to prevent corrosion phenomena that could lead to affect human health.
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The diseases and damages produced in the human body have had a high incidence in the development of society over the years. Multidisciplinary research in different areas such as physical, biological, materials, medical, clinical, and applied science, have been grouped to address this problem (Bose et al., 2016). Biomaterials is a field within materials science that has been established to attend the development of materials to treat the diseases of the body. A biomaterial has been defined as “any substance or a combination obtained from natural or synthetic sources used for any period to treat or replace parts of a living system of the body or to be and function in close contact with the living tissue in a physiologically acceptable manner” (Balani et al., 2015; Park & Lakes, 2007). Therefore, the biomaterials area need to have a transdisciplinary approach to develop and get closer to innovative and useful products that mimic the nature of the part that is being replaced (Park & Lakes, 2007).

A variety of applications have been developed to treat specific injuries. Bone cement, joint replacements, prosthesis, dental implants, among others are some examples of the devices/applications focus in to treat diseases of the musculoskeletal system; otherwise, stents, catheters, artificial heart, and kidney are part of the demands of the circulatory and urinary systems (Balani et al., 2015).

Active research and development have been carried out around biomaterials since their discovery. Due to the necessity for having more biofunctions in these materials, they have evolved from simple bioinert materials to accomplish different functions when implanted in the human body. Currently, biomaterials can be classified into four generations according to the biological response to attend the issues around the diseases. Figure 1 shows a schematic classification of biomaterials according to some authors (Ficai et al. 2011; Hernández-Montes, et al. 2017; Yang et al. 2017; Marchi, 2016):

Figure 1.

Biomaterials evolution by generation

(Adapted from Ficai et al. 2011; Hernández-Montes, et al. 2017; Allo et al. 2012)

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