In this study, hydroxyapatite (HAp) coated Mg matrix composites were fabricated for biodegradable implant applications. Spark plasma sintering was employed to fabricate the Mg-10 wt% ZnO composite substrates. HAp was coated on the surface of the sintered composites and pure Mg by a chemical solution treatment. SEM and optical micrographs of coated samples showed that HAp grew homogeneously and formed a layer on the entire surface of both pure sintered Mg and Mg composites. The immersion and polarization test results demonstrated that the HAp coating significantly improved the corrosion resistance of the sintered composites. While the HAp coating layer is not effective in the improvement of the pure Mg substrate, cell culture test results revealed that the HAp coating improved cell adhesion and proliferation on the composites effectively through 72 h, while no cell could survive on the uncoated composites after 72 h. In addition, the corrosion tests and cell culture test results indicated that the composite with longer sintering time has better corrosion resistance and cell viability than those of the composite with shorter sintering time. The findings suggested that the HAp-coated Mg-10 wt% ZnO-2.5 h + 10 min composite is a high-potential candidate for biodegradable implant applications.
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