Mechanical Characterization of Nanoscale Biomaterials


Chwee Teck Lim Division of Bioengineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore

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Nanoscale biomaterials, in the form of nanostructures such as nanofibers and nanoparticles, have been extensively used in biomedical applications such as tissue engineering and drug delivery. As these nanostructures are subjected to physical stresses within the body during application, it is important to ensure that their structural integrity remains intact and that they do not fail in vivo. Thus, there is a need to mechanically characterize these nanoscale biomaterials. Here, techniques for characterizing these nanobiomaterials using tensile test, nanoscale bend test, and nanoindentation will be presented and the challenges involved highlighted. Most of these techniques involve the use of atomic force microscopy (AFM) or AFM cantilevers as a means to apply or measure force and displacement in the nanometer range. The current limitations in the mechanical characterization of nanoscale biomaterials and future work required will be briefly mentioned.