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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2014 Mar;102(3):781-92. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.34741. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

Degradation and antibacterial properties of magnesium alloys in artificial urine for potential resorbable ureteral stent applications.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, University of California-Riverside, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, California, 92521.


This article presents an investigation on the effectiveness of magnesium and its alloys as a novel class of antibacterial and biodegradable materials for ureteral stent applications. Magnesium is a lightweight and biodegradable metallic material with beneficial properties for use in medical devices. Ureteral stent is one such example of a medical device that is widely used to treat ureteral canal blockages clinically. The bacterial colony formation coupled with the encrustation on the stent surface from extended use often leads to clinical complications and contributes to the failure of indwelling medical devices. We demonstrated that magnesium alloys decreased Escherichia coli viability and reduced the colony forming units over a 3-day incubation period in an artificial urine (AU) solution when compared with currently used commercial polyurethane stent. Moreover, the magnesium degradation resulted in alkaline pH and increased magnesium ion concentration in the AU solution. The antibacterial and degradation properties support the potential use of magnesium-based materials for next-generation ureteral stents. Further studies are needed for clinical translation of biodegradable metallic ureteral stents.

Copyright © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers.


antibacterial; biodegradable; biodegradable metal; biomaterials; infection; magnesium alloys; medical device for urological applications; ureteral stent

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