Biodegradable materials are an option where problems related with permanent implants induce complications in the long term, especially for bone and cardiovascular application. Research have focused on different materials for these applications, such as bioceramics, polymers, metals or composites. The adequate biocompatibility of these materials makes them good candidates, although they show some issues that they need to overcome. In order to do so, different techniques, such as coatings or alloying, arise as a favorable option to eliminate the drawbacks that these materials have. The degradation and biological properties of different materials have been characterized. From all of them, zinc seems to have a more promising future. Its good biocompatibility, higher corrosion resistance than other metals, such as magnesium, and its mechanical performance, present an advantage for zinc when it is compared with other materials. Further research of zinc and its alloys will be needed in order to develop innovative biodegradable medical devices.