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BIOE 801 Biomaterials

Fundamental of material science

Xuejun Wen, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy
Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
The bulk and surface properties of biomaterials used for medical
implant directly influence the tissue-implant interface, dynamic
interaction, short-term and long-term fate of the implant.
Each material have specific bulk and surface properties or
These should be known before using for any medical application.
The changes of above properties over time in vivo.
These should also be know before using for any in vivo application.
Although the properties of most materials are available from
handbooks, journal publications, etc., these properties have to be
tested in the context of the intended biomedical use.
Cardiovascular---flowing blood contact. Cyclic mechanical loading
Orthopedic---functional load bearing
Materials (Where they are?)

Parts: Implants, Scaffolds,.




Protons, Neutrons, Electrons

All matter is composed atoms
Atoms of a give element have identical properties
Different elements have different properties: How this may help

We can identify a molecule/material by identify each element in the

Atoms are not created or destroyed in chemical reactions (exclude
nuclear reaction).
Individual atoms can be visualized using Scanning Tunneling
Atoms contain
Protons (+ charge)
Neutrons (no charge)
Electrons (- charge)
Protons + Neutrons = Nucleus (Heavy elements)
Electrons (Light elements)
Atoms have measurable masses. How to measure?
Atomic Weight is average mass of an atom of an element. Why?

Mass spectrometer can be used to measure

Isotope (the number of neutrons is different) How we can use isotope for
biomaterial research?
Two or more atoms joined together by chemical bonds and form a
Molecule will form if total energy of molecule is lower than the
total energy of the separated atoms.
Atoms combine in whole number ratio (no fractional atom).
Molecular formula gives the composition of:
Number of atom of each element present
Molecular weight: sum of masses of atoms
Ordinary samples (Materials) contain lots of molecules.
Molecule will form if total energy of molecule is lower than the
total energy of the separated atoms.
Use IE (Ionization energy), EA (electron
affinity), and Coulombs Law to find the energy
Na: IE=496 KJ/Mol
Cl: EA=-328 KJ/mol
Coulombic Energies=-861kJ/mol
Bulk properties of materialsSolid state
The states of matter: (Think about H2O)

Whats the difference between solids and liquids or gases?

Solids are held together by strong inter-atomic forces

Electronic and atomic structures and physical properties of the solids depend
on the nature and strength of the inter-atomic bonds.
Three types of strong or primary inter-atomic bonds
Ionic, covalent, and metallic bonds
The full account of the nature of these bonds have to be explained through the
modern theory of quantum mechanics. (NOT our focus here)
Ionic bonding
Electron donor (metallic) atoms transfer one or more electrons to
an electron acceptor (nonmetallic) atom.
One becomes a cation (e.g., metal) and the other becomes anion
(e.g., nonmetal)
Cations and anions are strongly attracted by electrostatic or
Coulomb effect. This attraction constitutes the ionic bond.
Examples include NaCl, MgO,
Ionic bond and crystal structure
Poor electrical conducting: due to that loosely bound electrons of
each atoms are now tightly held in the locality of the ion bond
Low chemical reactivity: low overall energy state.

In ionic solids, there are many ions (cations and anions).

Ions are arranged in a way that each cation is surrounded by as many anions
as possible to reduce the strong mutual repulsion of cations.
This packing reduces the overall energy of the assemly/ordered
arrangement, and called crystal structure.
Crystal structure: Simple cubic
Crystal structure: Face-centered-cubic (FCC)
Crystal structure: Body-centered cubic (BCC)
Crystal structure: Hexagonal close-packed (HCP)
Covalent bonding
When atoms have about equal tendency to donate or accept
electrons, they do NOT form strong ionic bonds (They are going
to Share rather than Donate).
Covalent bonding is based on electron sharing rather than
Potential curve
Carbon- An example of covalent bond
Carbon (Diamond)
Carbon (Graphite)

Summary about bonding
Two extremes
Ionic bonding: electron
donation/transfer (from positive ion
to negative ion)
Covalent bonding: electron sharing
Most bonds are the combination of
the two
Polar covalent bonds: uneven
electron sharing
Electronegativity is a measure of the ability of an atom or
molecule to attract electrons in the context of a chemical bond.
The type of bond formed is largely determined by the difference in
electronegativity between the atoms involved.
Atoms with similar electronegativities (H2, N2) will share an
electron with each other and form a covalent bond.
If the difference is too great, the electron will be permanently
transferred to one atom and an ionic bond will form.
If one atom pulls slightly harder than the other, a polar covalent
bond will form (CO2).
The reverse of electronegativity, the ability of an atom to lose
electrons, is known as electropositivity.
Lewis structures
Lewis Structures of atoms:
The chemical symbol for the atom is surrounded by a number of dots
corresponding to the number of valence electrons.
Lewis Structures for Ions of Elements:
The chemical symbol for the element is surrounded by the number of
valence electrons present in the ion.
The whole structure is then placed within square brackets, with a
superscript to indicate the charge on the ion.
Atoms will gain or lose electrons in order to achieve a stable
electronic configuration.
Negative ions (anions) are formed when an atom gains electrons.
Positive ions (cations) are formed when an atom loses electrons.
Lewis Structures for Ionic Compounds:
The overall charge on the compound must equal zero, that is, the
number of electrons lost by one atom must equal the number of
electrons gained by the other atom.
The Lewis Structure (electron dot diagram) of each ion is used to
construct the Lewis Structure (electron dot diagram) for the ionic
Lewis Structures for Covalent Compounds:
Electrons in the Lewis Structure (electron dot diagram) are paired to
show the bonding pair of electrons.
Often the shared pair of electrons forming the covalent bond is
Sometimes the bond itself is shown (-), these structures can be
referred to as valence structures.
Metal bonding
Metal atoms, being strong electron donors, do not bond by either
ionic or covalent processes.
However, may metals have very high melting temperature
indicating very strong inter-atomic bonds exist.
The explanation is that: atoms arranged in an orderly, repeating, 3-
D pattern, with the valence electrons migrating between the atoms
like a gas. (Free electron model of metallic bonding).
Imagine a metal crystal composed of positive ion cores, atoms without their
valence electrons. Negative electrons circulate.
Non-localized bonds in a metal allows plastic deformation
Electron gas accounts for active chemical reactivity, high electric
and thermal conductivity of metallic systems
Weak bonding/Secondary bonding
Weak bond significantly influence the properties of some solids, especially polymers.
Van der Waals bonding (Physical bonding): is weak when compared to primary/chemical
It exists between virtually all atoms or molecules, but its presence may be obscured if any the 3
primary bonding types is present.
Inert gases, between molecules in molecular structures that are covalently bonded.
Dipole: Secondary bonding forces arise from atomic or molecular dipoles. (The separation of
positive and negative portions of an atom or molecule)
Hydrogen bonding: Covalent bonds between N-H as well as between O-H are quite polar,
and the H atom can be considered as being partially positive.
H atom is attracted fairly strongly to atoms which have lone pairs of electrons (such as O and N).
The molecules involved to become weakly bonded, through the H atom.
Hydrogen bonds are stronger than Van der Waals bonds, but weaker than ionic bonds or covalent
They play very important role in living systems.
Van der Waals bonding
Van der Waals bonding (graphite)
Hydrogen bonding