Date of Award


Document Type



Tracheomalacia, stenosis and other traumatic airway injuries (e.g., obstructive tracheobronchial tumors) often require airway stenting. Traditional polymeric stents are prone to cause infection, do not ‘grow’ with a child and often require surgical removal. Therefore, resorbable biometallics are ideal materials for tracheal stent devices. Magnesium (Mg) is an attractive material because of its biocompatibility, abundance within the human body, and intrinsic corrosive nature can be overcome via alloying elements. We hypothesize that resorbable magnesium-based materials can be utilized for the development of tracheal stents. The objective of the present study was to determine cytocompatibility of Mg alloys with fully differentiated cultures of normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells to simulate an in vivo response. Confluent cultures of differentiated NHBE cells were exposed to wires of high purity Mg or novel MgZnCa alloy for 0,4,18, 24, and 48 hours. Endpoint assays included reverse transcriptase PCR, western blot analysis, and ELISA to assess modulation of cellular responses such as regulation of inflammatory mediators and mucus secretion; wire corrosion was evaluated via scanning electron microscopy. A wound repair assay was performed to evaluate the effect of wires on cell proliferation. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Bonferroni post-test corrections (p value<0.05) were performed to detect differences among means. Wires of MgZnCa did not elicit inflammation, inhibit cell proliferation or migration; and degraded less than Mg wires. These findings suggest MgZnCa alloy may be an acceptable biomaterial to use in the application of tracheal stents; however, further analysis is required to determine long-term stent-airway dynamics.