Development of biodegradable metal implants is a complex problem because it combines engineering and medical requirements for a material. This article discusses the development of sensing and corrosion control techniques that can help in the design of biodegradable metallic implants. Biodegradable metallic implants dissolve as new tissue is formed. One of the most important factors in the design of biodegradable implants is to study the active interface, which should be monitored and controlled to address the medical concern of biocompatibility. Thus miniaturized and nanotechnology-based sensors that measure the activities of the degradation process and the formation of tissue are discussed for use with in vitro and in vivo experiments. These sensors can monitor chemical components and also cell activity and can provide new knowledge about biodegradable interfaces and how to actively control the interface to provide the best bioactivity to regenerate new tissue in a short time. Development of new alloys, nano-materials, miniature sensors, corrosion control coatings, and auxiliary applications such as biodegradable drug delivery capsules is expected to open up a new era in the engineering of materials for medicine.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(09)70273-1