Effective easing of the side effects of copper intrauterine devices using ultra-fine-grained Cu-0.4Mg alloy.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Acta Biomater, 2021, 128, pp. 523-539
Issue Date:
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Copper intrauterine device is one of the most adopted contraceptive methods with high effectiveness (over 99 %), low cost, spontaneous reversibility and long-lasting usage. However, the side effects induced from the initial burst release of copper ions (Cu2+) hinder the continuation of the Cu-IUD made of Coarse-Grained Copper (CG Cu). We proposed to tailor the bio-corrosion behaviors of better control of Cu2+ release via the addition of bioactive Mg into the Ultra-Fine Grained (UFG) Bulk Cu. Thus, UFG bulk Cu with 0.4 wt.% Mg was produced via equal-channel angular pressing. The microstructures of the UFG Cu-0.4Mg was observed using electron backscatter diffraction and transmission electron microscopy techniques. The in vitro long-term corrosion behaviors in simulated uterine fluid, cytotoxicity to four cell lines, in vivo biocompatibility and contraceptive efficacy were all studied on CG Cu, UFG Cu and UFG Cu-0.4Mg materials. The results demonstrate that both the ultrafine grains and the addition of bioactive Mg into Cu contribute to the suppression of the burst release of Cu2+ in the initial stage and the maintenance of high level Cu2+ in long-term release. Moreover, the UFG Cu-0.4Mg also exhibited much improved cell and tissue biocompatibility from both the in vitro and in vivo evaluations. Therefore, the contraceptive efficacy of UFG Cu-0.4Mg is still maintained as high as the CG Cu and UFG Cu while the side effects are significantly eased, suggesting the high potential of the UFG Cu-0.4Mg alloy as a new upgrading or alternative material for Cu-IUD. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: The side effects from burst release of Cu2+ at the initial implantation stage of Cu-containing intrauterine devices (Cu-IUD) is one of the main drawbacks of these devices. In this work, an ultra-fine-grained Cu (UFG Cu) alloyed with a low amount of bioactive Mg was used for a Cu-IUD. The UFG Cu-0.4Mg alloy exhibited suppressed burst release of Cu2+ at initial implantation, while active Cu2+ release for long-term usage was maintained, comparable to coarse-grained pure Cu. Furthermore, the UFG Cu-0.4Mg alloy displayed significantly improved biocompatibility with human uterus cells and a much decreased inflammatory response within the uterus. Therefore, the side effects from Cu-IUD were eased, while high antifertility efficacy of the UFG Cu-0.4Mg alloy was maintained. The UFG Cu-0.4Mg alloy is promising for Cu-IUD.
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