Palladium alloys for biomedical devices

Expert Rev Med Devices. 2010 Jul;7(4):489-501. doi: 10.1586/erd.10.25.


In the biomedical field, palladium has primarily been used as a component of alloys for dental prostheses. However, recent research has shown the utility of palladium alloys for devices such as vascular stents that do not distort magnetic resonance images. Dental palladium alloys may contain minor or major percentages of palladium. As a minor constituent, palladium hardens, strengthens and increases the melting range of alloys. Alloys that contain palladium as the major component also contain copper, gallium and sometimes tin to produce strong alloys with high stiffness and relatively low corrosion rates. All current evidence suggests that palladium alloys are safe, despite fears about harmful effects of low-level corrosion products during biomedical use. Recent evidence suggests that palladium poses fewer biological risks than other elements, such as nickel or silver. Hypersensitivity to palladium alone is rare, but accompanies nickel hypersensitivity 90-100% of the time. The unstable price of palladium continues to influence the use of palladium alloys in biomedicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alloys / chemistry*
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Corrosion
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Equipment and Supplies*
  • Humans
  • Palladium / chemistry*


  • Alloys
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cytokines
  • Palladium