Nanomechanical characterization of biomaterial surfaces: Polymer coatings that elute drugs

Klaus Wormuth, Greg Haugstad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


"Drug-eluting" biomaterials control the release of a drug into the tissue surrounding an implant with the goal of inducing proper healing responses in a localized area around the device. This chapter explores the application of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) to the nanomechanical characterization of drug-eluting coatings containing high concentrations of drugs mixed with hydrophobic polymers or hydrophobically associating hydrogels. As SPM nanomechanical characterization indirectly measures changes in the chemical composition of regions on the surface of the drug-polymer mixtures, some challenges arise in determining the chemical composition in the regions of interest. For example, in mixtures of dexamethasone in poly(butyl methacrylate) (PBMA), after exposure to water, small protrusions of segregated dexamethasone elute drug and leave pits as elution proceeds. Similarly, in mixtures of simvastatin in poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT)-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) polymer, after exposure to water, amorphous simvastatin is forced to the surface of the coatings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationScanning Probe Microscopy for Industrial Applications
Subtitle of host publicationNanomechanical Characterization
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781118723111
ISBN (Print)9781118288238
StatePublished - Nov 8 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • Biomaterials
  • Drug-eluting coatings
  • Nanomechanics
  • Poly(butyl methacrylate) (PBMA)
  • Poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT)
  • Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)
  • Scanning probe microscopy (SPM)
  • Simvastatin


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