- Porous Mg scaffolds are considered as potential bone growth promoting materials. Unfortunately, the high rate of biocorrosion inherent to Mg alloys may cause a premature loss of mechanical strength, excessive evolution of hydrogen gas, and a rapidly shifting surface topography, all of which may hinder the ability of native cells to attach and grow on the implant surface. Here we investigated the cell cytotoxicity effects during corrosion of a novel magnesium alloy, EW10X04 (Mg–1.2%Nd–0.5%Y–0.5%Zr–0.4%Ca), following diffusion coating (DC) and heat treatment to reduce the corrosion rate. Cells were exposed either to corrosion products or to the corroding scaffold surface, in vitro . The microstructure characterization of the scaffold surface was carried out by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with a Noran energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS). Phase analyses were obtained by X-ray diffraction (XRD). We found that cell viability, growth, and adhesion were all improved when cultured on the EW10X04 + DC surface or under corrosion product extracts due to lower corrosion rates relative to the EW10X04 control samples. It is therefore believed that the tested alloy after Nd coating and heat treatment may introduce a good balance between its biodegradation characteristics and cytotoxic effects towards cells.