Magnesium-silver alloys are of high interest for the use as temporary bone implants due to their antibacterial properties in addition to biocompatibility and biodegradability. Thin wires in particular can be used for scaffolding, but the determination of their degradation rate and homogeneity using traditional methods is difficult. Therefore, we have employed 3D imaging using X-ray near-field holotomography with sub-micrometer resolution to study the degradation of thin (250 μm diameter) Mg-2Ag and Mg-6Ag wires. The wires were studied in two states, recrystallized and solution annealed to assess the influence of Ag content and precipitates on the degradation. Imaging was employed after degradation in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium and 10% fetal bovine serum after 1 to 7 days. At 3 days of immersion the degradation rates of both alloys in both states were similar, but at 7 days higher silver content and solution annealing lead to decreased degradation rates. The opposite was observed for the pitting factor. Overall, the standard deviation of the determined parameters was high, owing to the relatively small field of view during imaging and high degradation inhomogeneity of the samples. Nevertheless, Mg-6Ag in the solution annealed state emerges as a potential material for thin wire manufacturing for implants.
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