Seminar of Martin Otto from Leibniz Institute, entitled “Optimisation of Fe-Mn-C steels for biodegradable vascular implant applications”. On May 23rd, 2024, at noon in the Auditorium.


The demand for advanced clinical treatments for various soft and hard tissue injuries and diseases has led to the development of innovative biodegradable implant materials. Compared to their non-degrading counterparts, implants made of biodegradable polymers or metals degrade progressively after providing temporary support during the healing process of diseased tissue. Besides Mg- and Zn-based systems, Fe-alloys are attractive candidates for metal-based degradable medical devices [1]. For the latter, especially Fe Mn C steels are promising as they offer a favourable combination of high ductility, stiffness and strength together with excellent processability. This makes them especially suitable for ultra-thin cardiovascular stent designs with low blood flow disturbance and minimal foreign material insertion. For such use cases, understanding the correlation between processing, microstructure, and the resulting mechanical as well as degradation performance is essential for successful material development.
The presentation will give insight into the characterisation of promising Fe Mn C steels, which were fabricated by a tailored hot forging process route. The microstructure was analysed using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) methods, including electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). The steels were verified to be austenitic, having comparable grain size distributions in the hot forged condition. The mechanical properties that are relevant for vascular implants were characterised by uniaxial tensile and ultrasonic tests. For the investigated mechanical parameters, the Fe Mn C steels demonstrated superior performance compared to the benchmark medical steel AISI 316L [2]. The material in vitro degradation behaviours were characterized electrochemically in simulated body fluids under well-defined hydrodynamic flow conditions. Degradation surface analysis was performed using microscopy and spectroscopy methods to gain further insight into the degradation mechanisms. As a result of these studies, improved mechanical and degradation properties were achieved, which flatten the path to the intended vascular implant applications.


[1] H.S. Han, S. Loffredo, I. Jun, J. Edwards, Y.C. Kim, H.K. Seok, F. Witte, D. Mantovani, S. Glyn-Jones, Current status and outlook on the clinical translation of biodegradable metals, Mater. Today. 23 (2019) 57–71.
[2] M. Otto, J. Freudenberger, L. Giebeler, A. Weidner, J. Hufenbach, Developing austenitic high-manganese high-carbon steels for biodegradable stent applications: Microstructural and mechanical studies, Mater. Sci. Eng. A. 892 (2024) 145998.


Martin Otto is a researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden. His research is focused on biometals for cardiovascular applications. He will present his research on FeMnC steel development and its mechanical properties, followed by electrochemistry/spectroscopy studies. Also, he will talk about Dresden as a place to live and for research/work.