Current implant surface technology: an examination of their nanostructure and their influence on fibroblast alignment and biocompatibility

S Barr, E Hill, Ardeshir Bayat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Systematic reviews indicate that breast implant texture confers a protective effect on capsular contracture. Fibroblasts are affected by micro- and nanotopographies. Few previous studies have investigated the inherent topographies of existing breast implants and the surfaces with which body tissue is exposed. Aims: To examine currently available breast implant surfaces at high resolution and evaluate features within their surface that have been demonstrated to influence fibroblast alignment. Methods: Using scanning electron and light microscopy, 5 distinct smooth and textured silicone implants including the Mentor Siltex(R) (Mentor Corporation, Santa Barbara, Calif) and Allergan Biocell(R) (Allergan Medical Corporation, Santa Barbara, Calif) surfaces were investigated at high magnification to illustrate their intrinsic surface topographies. Results: The images obtained illustrate remarkable micro- and nanoscale topographies. Each surface produced a distinctive microenvironment capable of influencing cell shape and thus biointegration. These features are illustrated by our unique, high-magnification images. The smooth surface exhibits a shallow, regular, 5-microm period rippled texture that may explain higher reported contracture rates, while the Biocell and Siltex surfaces show 100- to 200-microm deep but random features that have been shown to anchor the implant to breast tissue and reduce contracture. Results allow a cell's eye view of these implants, with an explanation of why these types of topographies influence the success of these implants. Conclusions: We assessed commonly available silicone implants and offer a unique overview into their surface topographies and how they are manufactured. We conclude that these surfaces require modernization. Our findings provide further insight into potential interactions between cellular assemblies and artificial surfaces and may contribute to the development of improved implant surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Current implant surface technology: an examination of their nanostructure and their influence on fibroblast alignment and biocompatibility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this