Capsule-substrate contact deformation: determination of adhesion energy

KK Liu, V Chan, Zhibing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


A study is reported of a cellular entity (liquid-filled microcapsule) adhered on a flat glass substrate in response to changes in osmotic pressure and temperature. High-resolution reflection interference contrast microscopy (HR-RICM) and phase-contrast microscopy were developed for probing the adhesion contact area, capsule-substrate separation profile and adhesion energy of the adhering microcapsule. The new technique increased the detection limit of the measured capsule wall-substrate separation in the cohesive zone from 1 to 4.5 microm and improved the spatial resolution of the heterogeneous contact zones. A theoretical model was applied to correlate quantitatively the adhesion energy to the area of the contact zone. The work demonstrated the possibility of ascertaining the quantitative interfacial adhesion energy of a liquid-filled microcapsule using the present technique and represents the first step in extending this novel approach to study more complicated systems, such as cell-substrate interactions, in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-495
Number of pages5
JournalMedical & Biological Engineering & Computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2002


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