Magnesium (Mg) is a promising material for producing temporary orthopedic implants, since it is a biodegradable and biocompatible metal which density is very similar to that of the bones. Another benefit is the small strength mismatch when compared to other biocompatible metals, what alleviates stress-shielding effects between bone and the implant. To take advantage of the best materials properties, it is possible to combine magnesium with bioactive ceramics and tailor composites for medical applications with improved biocompatibility, controllable degradation rates and the necessary mechanical properties. To properly insert bioactive reinforcement into the metallic matrix, the fabrication of these composites usually involves at least one high temperature step, as casting or sintering. Yet, recent papers report the development of Mg-based composites at room temperature using severe plastic deformation. This chapter goes through the available data over the development of Mg-composites reinforced with bioactive ceramics, presenting the latest findings on the topic. This overview aims to identify the major influence of the processing route on matrix refinement and reinforcement dispersion, which are critical parameters to determine mechanical and corrosion properties of biodegradable Mg-based composites.
Part of the book: Magnesium Alloys Structure and Properties