μ-Raman spectroscopy has been used to characterize two types of biomedical materials: a multilayer, silicone elastomer used in implants, and a thin, polyethylene layer used in a medical device. Raman spectroscopy is the collection of light inelastically scattered by a material or compound. The technique is based on the Raman effect, which involves the interaction of light and matter. When light strikes a material, the light is inelastically scattered and is frequency shifted according to the vibrations of the chemical-functional groups and/or macrostructure of the material. The result is a Raman spectrum of the material that can be interpreted to determine the characteristics of the material, including identity, macrostructure, and quantity of a specific material within a matrix.The application of Raman spectroscopy in the characterization of polymers has been well established. The technique has been used to determine the chemical composition and morphology of polymers. Raman spectroscopy could therefore be a powerful tool for characterizing polymeric biomaterials.
The silicone elastomer characterized in this work consisted of three layers: polydimethylsiloxane, polydimethyl/polydiphenyl siloxane, and polydimethylsiloxane.