Gadolinium was found to accumulate in the spleen, liver and kidney of animals. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Gadolinium accumulation in organs of Sprague-Dawley® rats after implantation of a biodegradable magnesium-gadolinium alloy.
Acta Biomater. 2017 01 15 ;48:521-529. Epub 2016 Nov 11. PMID: 27845277
: Biodegradable magnesium implants are under investigation because of their promising properties as medical devices. For enhancing the mechanical properties and the degradation resistance, rare earth elements are often used as alloying elements. In this study Mg10Gd pins were implanted into Sprague-Dawley® rats. The pin volume loss and a possible accumulation of magnesium and gadolinium in the rats' organs and blood were investigated in a long-term study over 36weeks. The results showed that Mg10Gd is a fast disintegrating material. Already 12weeks after implantation the alloy is fragmented to smaller particles, which can be found within the intramedullary cavity and the cortical bones. They disturbed the bone remodeling until the end of the study. The results concerning the elements' distribution in the animals' bodies were even more striking, since an accumulation of gadolinium could be observed in the investigated organs over the whole time span. The most affected tissue was the spleen, with up to 3240μgGd/kg wet mass, followed by the lung, liver and kidney (up to 1040, 685 and 207μgGd/kg). In the brain, muscle and heart, the gadolinium concentrations were much smaller (less than 20μg/kg), but an accumulation could still be detected. Interestingly, blood serum samples showed no accumulation of magnesium and gadolinium. This is the first time that an accumulation of gadolinium in animal organs was observed after the application of a gadolinium-containing degradable magnesiumimplant. These findings demonstrate the importance of future investigations concerning the distribution of the constituents of new biodegradable materials in the body, to ensure the patients' safety.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: In the last years, biodegradable Mg alloys are under investigation due to their promising properties as orthopaedic devices used for bone fracture stabilization. Gadolinium as Rare Earth Element enhances the mechanical properties of Mg-Gd alloys but its toxicity in humans is still questionable. Up to now, there is no study investigating the elements' metabolism of a REE-containing Magnesium alloy in an animal model. In this study, we examined the gadolinium distribution and accumulation in rat organs during the degradation of Mg10Gd. Our findings showed that Gd is accumulating in the animal organs, especially in spleen, liver and kidney. This study is of crucial benefit regarding a safe application of REE-containing Magnesium alloys in humans.