Poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) graphene oxide composite coatings for controlling magnesium implant corrosion

Acta Biomater. 2017 Jan 15;48:530-540. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.11.039. Epub 2016 Nov 17.


Magnesium (Mg) is a promising biodegradable implant material because of its appropriate mechanical properties and safe degradation products. However, in vivo corrosion speed and hydrogen gas production need to be controlled for uses in biomedical applications. Here we report the development of a conducting polymer 3,4-ethylenedioxythiphene (PEDOT) and graphene oxide (GO) composite coating as a corrosion control layer. PEDOT/GO was electropolymerized on Mg samples in ethanol media. The coated Mg samples were subjected to various corrosion tests. The PEDOT/GO coating significantly reduced the rate of corrosion as evidenced by lower Mg ion concentration and pH of the corrosion media. In addition, the coating decreased the evolved hydrogen. Electrochemical analysis of the corroding samples showed more positive corrosion potential, a decreased corrosion current, and an increase in the polarization resistance. PEDOT/GO corrosion protection is attributed to three factors; an initial passive layer preventing solution ingress, buildup of negative charges in the film, and formation of corrosion protective Mg phosphate layer through redox coupling with Mg corrosion. To explore the biocompatibility of the coated implants in vitro, corrosion media from PEDOT/GO coated or uncoated Mg samples were exposed to cultured neurons where PEDOT/GO coated samples showed decreased toxicity. These results suggest that PEDOT/GO coating will be an effective treatment for controlling corrosion of Mg based medical implants.

Statement of significance: Coating Mg substrates with a PEDOT/GO composite coating showed a significant decrease in corrosion rate. While conducting polymer coatings have been used to prevent corrosion on various metals, there has been little work on the use of these coatings for Mg. Additionally, to our knowledge, there has not been a report of the combined used of conducting polymer and GO as a corrosion control layer. Corrosion control is attributed to an initial barrier layer followed by electrochemical coupling of the PEDOT/GO coating with the substrate to facilitate the formation of a protective phosphate layer. This coupling also resulted in a decrease in hydrogen produced during corrosion, which could further improve the host tissue integration of Mg implants. This work elaborates on the potential for electroactive polymers to serve as corrosion control methods.

Keywords: Conducting polymer; Corrosion control; Graphene oxide; Magnesium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Animals
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic / chemistry*
  • Cell Death
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / chemistry*
  • Corrosion
  • Dielectric Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemical Techniques
  • Graphite / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen / analysis
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Magnesium / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission
  • Time Factors


  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Polymers
  • poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene)
  • Graphite
  • Hydrogen
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Magnesium