Corrosion resistance studies on grain-boundary etched drug-eluting stents

Ralf Rettig, Julia Kunze, Michael Stöver, Erich Wintermantel, Sannakaisa Virtanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this paper we compare the influence of different microstructures on the corrosion resistance of new drug-eluting stainless steel stents, which have been produced by grain-boundary-selective electrochemical etching processes. The morphology of the stent surfaces was analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the surface composition was investigated with Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) as well as with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). The passivity of the different microstructured stents was studied by cyclovoltammetry in Ringer solution. Release of nickel and chromium was assessed after potentiostatic experiments in Ringer solution by analysing the collected electrolyte with AAS. For stents produced by different two-step etching procedures bringing about ideal morphologies regarding the mechanical and biological properties of the surface, no significant differences in the passivation behaviour could be observed. A two-step process using first nitric acid and oxalic acid in a second step produces stent surfaces with very good corrosion properties: electrochemical analysis shows that the range of stable passivity is the same as for conventional stent surfaces, and low rates of nickel and chromium release are observed. The etching procedures do not seem to change the surface oxide layer composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1387
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


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