Many metal-based and polymer-based biodegradable materials have recently gained significant attention for orthopedic applications as they exhibit good biocompatibility, biodegradability, and closer mechanical properties to the bone. These biodegradable materials have been developed and utilized to eliminate the need for secondary surgery after implantation. The controlled and predictable degradation behavior of biodegradable devices is an important requirement for their successful use in orthopedic applications, as degradation affects both the physical and mechanical properties of a device. Most recently, many methods such as optimization of material processing techniques, optimization of post-processing techniques for grain size or microstructure improvements, use of alloying or additive elements, and surface modifications, etc. have been employed for optimizing biodegradable materials properties. Therefore, many novel metal-based and polymer-based biodegradable materials have been developed. In this review, these metal-based and polymer-based biodegradable materials have been reviewed to study their potential for orthopedic applications. The essential performance parameters such as biocompatibility, biodegradation kinetics, corrosion properties, and mechanical properties of biodegradable materials have been evaluated for performance analysis of biodegradable materials.
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