Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Zoology and Physiology

First Advisor

Donal Skinner


The human body utilizes various ions, including Copper, Zinc and Iron which are usually found attached to proteins, and free ions like Sodium, Potassium, Manganese, and Calcium. These ions are beneficial to the human body at trace amounts, but an increase in metal ions in the body have been recorded to have negative effects. An increase in Copper ions has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, Menkes disease, Wilson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. Elevated Iron levels can be used by invading pathogens and also influence neurodegeneration (Wedd, A., & Maret, W., 2014). This illustrates the importance of researching the potential REDOX reactions between metal implants and bodily ions. Titanium alloys are widely used in medical applications due to a good mechanical strength and adequate corrosion resistance. However, Titanium tends to be a more expensive bio-metal. The application of Stainless steel alloys is substituted to decrease financial cost. These alloys maintain corrosion resistance by employing protective oxide surface layers (T.Hanawa, 2004). The purpose of this project is to evaluate REDOX reactions between ions in human bodily fluids and metals used in surgical implants. The effect of pH and temperature in Simulated Body Fluids (SBF) on the REDOX reaction rates will also be evaluated. The protective coating of oxide films, type of alloys, bio-corrosion and wear behavior of bio-metals has to be taken into consideration (Matusiewicz, Henryk, 2014). The results of this research could benefit further research into biocompatibility of implants in the human body.