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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017, Article ID 9234627, 14 pages
Review Article

Atomic Force Microscopy for Collagen-Based Nanobiomaterials

Cancer Biophysics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Cyprus, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus

Correspondence should be addressed to Andreas Stylianou; rg.autn.liam@dnailyts

Received 1 August 2016; Revised 28 November 2016; Accepted 23 January 2017; Published 15 February 2017

Academic Editor: Ilaria Armentano

Copyright © 2017 Andreas Stylianou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Novel nanobiomaterials are increasingly gaining ground in bioengineering research. Among the numerous biomaterials, collagen-nanobiomaterials, such as collagen thin films, are of great interest since they present a wide range of applications in the fields of biomaterials, tissue engineering, and biomedicine. Collagen type I is the most abundant protein within extracellular matrix and, due to its unique characteristics, is widely used as biomaterial. A thorough characterization of the structure and properties of nanomaterials can be achieved by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). AFM is a very powerful tool which can be used to obtain qualitative or quantitative information without destroying the collagen fibrillar structure. This mini review covers issues related to the use of AFM for studying the structure and mechanical properties of collagen-based nanobiomaterials, collagen-substrate interactions during the formation of collagen thin films, collagen-cells interactions, and the collagen-optical radiation interactions.