In-depth analyses of post-corrosion mechanical properties and architecture of open cell iron foams with hollow struts as absorbable bone scaffolds were carried out. Variations in the architectural features of the foams after 14 days of immersion in a Hanks' solution were investigated using micro-computed tomography and scanning electron microscope images. Finite element Kelvin foam model was developed, and the numerical modeling and experimental results were compared against each other. It was observed that the iron foam samples were mostly corroded in the periphery regions. Except for quasi-elastic gradient, other mechanical properties (i.e. compressive strength, yield strength and energy absorbability) decreased monotonically with immersion time. Presence of adherent corrosion products enhanced the load-bearing capacity of the open cell iron foams at small strains. The finite element prediction for the quasi-elastic response of the 14-day corroded foam was in an agreement with the experimental results. This study highlights the importance of considering corrosion mechanism when designing absorbable scaffolds; this is indispensable to offer desirable mechanical properties in porous materials during degradation in a biological environment.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.