Bio-Environment-Induced Degradation and Failure of Internal Fixation Implants. Academic Article uri icon


  • Internal fixations provide fast healing but their failure remains problematic to patients. Here, we report an experimental study in failure of three typical cases of metals: a bent intramedullary stainless steel nail, a broken exterior pure Ti plate, and a broken intramedullary stainless steel nail. Characterization of the bent nail indicates that those metals are vulnerable to corrosion with the evidence of increased surface roughness and embrittlement. Depredated surface of the Ti plate resulted debris particles in the surrounding tissue of 15.2 ± 6.5 μm in size. Nanoparticles were observed in transmission electron microscope. The electron diffraction pattern of the debris indicates a combination of nanocrystalline and amorphous phases. The failure mode of the broken nail made of stainless steel was found to be fatigue initiated from the surface. This study clearly shows the biological-attack induced surface degradation resulting in debris and fatigue. Future design and selection of implant materials should consider such factors for improvement.

published proceedings

  • J Funct Biomater

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhou, Y., Perkins, L. A., Wang, G., Zhou, D., & Liang, H.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Zhou, Yan||Perkins, Luke A||Wang, Guodong||Zhou, Dongsheng||Liang, Hong

publication date

  • October 2015