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Biomaterials. 2007 May;28(15):2505-24. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Bulk and interface investigations of scaffolds and tissue-engineered bones by X-ray microtomography and X-ray microdiffraction.

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  • 1Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro and Dipartimento di Oncologia Biologia e Genetica, Universita' di Genova, Largo R. Benzi 10, Genova 16132, Italy.


This review is presented of recent investigations concerning the structure of ceramic scaffolds and tissue-engineered bones and focused on two techniques based on X-ray radiation, namely microtomography (microCT) and microdiffraction. Bulk 3D information, with micro-resolution, is mainly obtained by microCT, whereas microdiffraction provides useful information on interfaces to the atomic scale, i.e. of the order of the nanometer. Since most of the reported results were obtained using synchrotron radiation, a brief description of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) is presented, followed by a description of the two techniques. Then examples of microstructural investigations of scaffolds are reported together with studies on bone architecture. Finally, studies on ex vivo tissue-engineered bone and on bone microstructure in vivo are presented.

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