Combining surface topography with polymer chemistry: Exploring new interfacial biological phenomena

Dan Li, Qing Zheng, Yanwei Wang, Hong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


The review focuses on the combination of surface topography and surface chemical modification with the grafting of polymer chains to develop optimal material interfaces for biological and biomedical applications. Understanding how surface chemistry and topography correlate with the interfacial properties and biological functions of a material is important for the development of biomaterials. Synergies between these two properties are known to exist, but have not been exploited extensively for biomaterial design. Preliminary studies suggest that the combination of surface topography and chemistry may not only enhance surface properties, but may also give biological properties that are opposite to those of the corresponding smooth surface, and even other unexpected biological properties. This review summarizes some recent studies in this area, mostly carried out in our own laboratory, as examples to illustrate how synergistic properties and functions may be obtained by combining surface topography with polymer chemistry. It is hoped that this review will stimulate a more thorough exploration of the topography-chemistry synergy as a means of injecting "new life" into efforts to develop novel bio-functional surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-24
Number of pages11
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 7 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry


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