Techniques for analyzing biomaterial surface structure, morphology and topography

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


This is a brief review of the key techniques that are most useful in characterizing the surface structure, morphology, and topography of biomaterials. The emphasis is on the use of these techniques for the evaluation of materials used in prostheses, biomedical implants and tissue scaffolds. The first part describes the techniques using light, electrons and scanning probes to examine the surface morphology. Profilometry that provides quantitative measure of the surface roughness is also presented. Next, techniques that characterize the surface structures at the molecular level, x-ray scattering and Raman spectroscopy, are presented. The enhancements that make these classical techniques surface sensitive are discussed. Finally, contact-angle measurements are discussed in the context of the effect of surface structure and topography on the energetics of the interaction between the substrate and the adsorbing molecules. Principles of each of the techniques are described and illustrated with examples relevant to biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSurface Modification of Biomaterials
Subtitle of host publicationMethods Analysis and Applications
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781845696405
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


  • Contact-angle
  • Microscopy
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Surface structure
  • X-ray scattering


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