Utilizing Synchrotron Radiation for the Characterization of Biodegradable Magnesium Alloys — From Alloy Development to the Application as Implant Material

Research output: Journal contributionsScientific review articlesResearch


  • Berit Zeller-Plumhoff
  • Domonkos Tolnai
  • Martin Wolff
  • Imke Greving
  • Norbert Hort
  • Regine Willumeit-Römer

Magnesium alloys are highly attractive for their application as structural materials as well as medical implants. A range of alloying systems exists which are investigated, e.g., in terms of alloy microstructure changes, in particular during different processing steps or mechanical testing, and in terms of the associated corrosion performance of the material. Synchrotron radiation and in particular synchrotron radiation microcomputed tomography and nanotomography yield a unique opportunity to investigate such changes and processes in 3D at high resolution and in situ, thus significantly broadening our knowledge base. Herein, the benefits of using synchrotron radiation for the investigation of magnesium alloys with particular respect to its application as a biodegradable implant are demonstrated. Advances in experimental environments for in situ testing are reviewed, and all stages of materials testing are covered in which synchrotron radiation has been used, i.e., from developing and processing of the material, to corrosion testing and assessing implant integration and stability ex vivo. This review incorporates advances both in micro- and nanotomographic imaging regimes and further includes complementary techniques, such as X-ray diffraction, small angle X-ray scattering, X-ray fluorescence, and diffraction tomography. Finally, an outlook into future developments is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100197
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Issue number11
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 11.2021

Bibliographical note

Special Issue: Neutrons and Synchrotron Radiation – Unique Tools for the Characterization of Materials

    Research areas

  • biodegradable magnesium implants, in situ testing, magnesium alloys, synchrotron radiation
  • Engineering