Innovations in Biotechnology and Medical Sciences

[pib] Iron-Manganese based Biodegradable Alloy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Iron-Manganese based Biodegradable Alloy

Mains level: Affordable medical devices and implants in India

Indian scientists have jointly developed new generation Iron-Manganese based alloys for biodegradable metal implants for use in humans.

Do you remember the Johnson and Johnson’s faulty hip implants case?? The alloy mentioned in the newscard can prove to be a gamechanger in the field of medical implants.

Iron-Manganese based Biodegradable Alloy

  • Biodegradable materials (Fe, Mg, Zn, and polymer) can participate in the healing process and then degrade gradually by maintaining mechanical integrity without leaving any implant residues in the human body.
  • They are better alternatives to currently used metallic implants which remain permanently in the human body and can cause long-term side effects like systemic toxicity, chronic inflammation, and thrombosis.
  • The ARCI team employed both conventional melting and powder metallurgy techniques in the manufacturing of the new Fe-Mn based biodegradable alloys.
  • The alloy Fe-Mn (having Mn composition of more than 29% by weight) is a promising biodegradable metallic implant which exhibits a single austenitic phase (a non-magnetic form of iron) with MRI compatibility.

Easy degradation

  • The alloy also showed a degradation rate in the range of 0.14-0.026 mm per year in the simulated body fluid.
  • It means that the Fe-Mn alloy exhibits mechanical integrity for 3-6 months and completely, disappears from the body in 12-24 months.
  • During the degradation process, calcium phosphate deposits on the implant due to local alkalization and saturation of calcium and phosphate, allow cells to adhere onto the surface to form tissues.


  • The Fe-Mn alloy produced at ARCI exhibited 99% density with impressive mechanical properties and behaved as a nonmagnetic material even under a strong magnetic field.
  • These properties are comparable to presently used permanent Titanium (Ti) and stainless-steel metallic implants (which is very costly).

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