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ASM Handbook

Materials for Medical Devices

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Roger J. Narayan
Roger J. Narayan
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Book Chapter

Corrosion and Biocompatibility



This article discusses the mechanisms of metal and alloy biocompatibility. It provides information on early testing and experience with metals in medical device applications. The article describes the response to severe corrosion of implant and particulate materials. It provides a description of metal binding and its effects on metabolic processes. The hypersensitive responses to metal ions are also reviewed. The article concludes with a discussion on possible cancer-causing effects of metallic biomaterials.


This article reviews the corrosion interactions between biomedical alloys, in particular iron-base, titanium-base, and cobalt-base alloys, in complex geometries and in applications where there are significant cyclic stresses and potential for wear and fretting motion. It discusses the nature of these metal surfaces and their propensity for corrosion reactions when combined with similar or different alloys in complex restrictive environments within the human body, and under loading conditions. The article describes factors that influence mechanically assisted crevice corrosion. It reviews tests, such as scratch test and in vitro fretting corrosion test, developed to investigate the aspects of mechanically assisted corrosion of metallic biomaterials.

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2012. "Corrosion and Biocompatibility", Materials for Medical Devices, Roger J. Narayan

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