Measurements of Wood Cell Wall Properties

Measurements of Wood Cell Wall Properties

Measurements of Wood Cell Wall Properties

CD BioSciences has many years of successful experience in the field of characterization of the mechanical properties of cell walls. We are committed to building a platform based on nanoindentation technology to provide our customers with a comprehensive range of services for measuring the properties of wood cell walls.


Wood cells have a complex multi-component structure and their structural arrangement is one of the most important factors affecting their mechanical properties. It is well known that the cell wall consists of a primary wall, a secondary wall and a middle lamella. Typically, the secondary wall is made up of a narrow outer layer (layer S1), a very thin and narrow inner layer (layer S3) and an intermediate layer (layer S2). Measuring mechanical properties at the fibre or cell wall level is a challenge due to the complexity of the cell wall structure as well as biological variation.

Nanoindentation is a new technique capable of characterizing the mechanical properties of the cell wall at the nanoscale. It allows access to the mechanical properties within the cell wall layers and reduces modifications to a minimum. The technique has been used to estimate the indentation modulus of mature natural or thermomechanically modified wood fibre cell walls. As an effective experimental method, it can also help to validate other theoretical simulations, such as rheological models and assumptions about the structure of the cell wall.

Schematic of cell wall layers within cellular structure of wood. Fig.1 Schematic of cell wall layers within cellular structure of wood. (Rafsanjani, 2014)

Our Services

In order to better assess the importance of various modeling parameters, we offer our customers service for measuring the mechanical properties of wood cell walls. Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • We provide a three-dimensional structural characterization of cellulose aggregates within different cell wall layers. We use synchrotron radiation X-ray tomography to achieve an appropriate resolution level and provide a research basis for the in-depth understanding of wood cell walls.
  • We use nanoindentation to help our customers measure the mechanical properties of the wood cell wall, including the microfibril angle (MFA), stiffness, elastic properties of cellulose microfibrils or aggregate structures including the non-crystalline regions, wood-polymer composition and the effects of moisture.
  • We use various AFM techniques such as contact resonance atomic force (CR-AFM) to obtain higher resolution stiffness values for in-situ wood polymers.
  • We provide monitoring of structure and properties at the fibre level by means of X-ray tomography tools. For example, we use synchrotron X-ray tomography to measure the hygroexpansion coefficients of a single wood fibre in different directions.


  • Matching different modeling approaches
  • Prediction of structure-property relations of the wood fibre
  • Study on interactions of the cell wall components in the transverse direction

Our Advantages

  • Cutting-edge apparatuses
  • Powerful analysis platform
  • Fast turnaround time
  • 24 hours after-sales service

CD BioSciences has established efficient and proven methods to provide customers with service for measuring the mechanical properties of wood cell walls. If you have any questions about our biophysical analysis services, please contact us.


  1. Rafsanjani, A.; et al. Hygroscopic swelling and shrinkage of latewood cell wall micropillars reveal ultrastructural anisotropy. Journal of the Royal society interface. 2014, 11(95): 20140126.
For research use only, not intended for any clinical use.
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CD BioSciences is a biotechnology company focused on biophysical services. We are proficient in both chemistry and biophysics, and have a comprehensive biophysical platform containing a wide range of advanced technologies.

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