• surface analysis;
  • metrology;
  • computer simulation;
  • life sciences


Surface characteristics of materials, whether their topography, chemistry, or surface energy, play an essential part in osteoblast adhesion on biomaterials. Thus, the quality of cell adhesion will influence the cell's capacity to proliferate and differentiate in contact with a biomaterial. We have developed for more than ten years numerous studies on the influence of topography and chemistry of metallic substrates on the response of primary human bone cells. The originality of our approach is that contrary to most of other authors, we quantified the adhesion of primary human bone cells on metallic substrates with perfectly characterized surface topography after some hours but also over 21 days. Moreover, we have developed original statistical approaches for characterizing the relation between surface roughness and cell-adhesion parameters. In this article, we will illustrate different studies we did these last ten years concerning the development of a new adhesion parameter, the adhesion power; the correlation between short-term adhesion, long-term adhesion, and proliferation; the influence of roughness organization on cell adhesion and the development of the order parameter; our modeling approach of cell adhesion on surface topography; the relative influence of surface chemistry and topography on cell adhesion and contact angle; the relation between surface features dimensions and cell adhesion. Further, some considerations will be given on the methods for scanning surface topography for cell-adhesion studies. Finally, perspectives will be given to elucidate these intracellular mechanotransduction mechanisms induced by the deformation of cells on model sinusoidal peaks-or-valleys surfaces. SCANNING 36:11–20, 2014. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.