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There has been considerable interest in determining the effect of morphologic alterations of prosthetic surfaces on capsule response in breast surgery. The purpose of this study was to provide a precise, three-dimensional evaluation of soft-tissue response to surface modifications in both implantation and expansion. Expandable 100-cc prostheses were designed with one of three surfaces: textured silicone (Biocell), standard smooth silicone, or polyurethane (Natural-Y, Meme). A new submuscular implantation site in the rabbit was developed. Each animal randomly received a smooth-surface device on one side and either a textured silicone or polyurethane device on the other. In one group of animals, the prostheses were expanded monthly. Capsular response was evaluated monthly in vivo using standardized techniques as well as biomechanical methods for up to 6 months in the expander group (n = 7 to 16) and 8 months in the implant group (n = 7 to 15). Analysis of biomechanical and histologic data revealed that prosthetic surface morphology can specifically alter capsular response. Polyurethane was the only effective surface in preventing capsular contracture in implantation. In expansion, both textured silicone and polyurethane surfaces resulted in significantly less capsular contracture and less resistance to expansion than comparable smooth-surfaced controls. Statistical comparisons reveal that the biomechanical methods utilized in this study provide the most precise and objective method of defining overall soft-tissue contracture around implanted biomaterials.