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Biomaterials. 2004 Sep;25(20):4947-54.

Analysis of 3D bone ingrowth into polymer scaffolds via micro-computed tomography imaging.

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Department of Applied Mathematics, Research School of Physical Science and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia.


This paper illustrates the utility of micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) to study the process of tissue engineered bone growth. A micro-CT facility for imaging and visualising biomaterials in three dimensions (3D) is described. The facility is capable of acquiring 3D images made up of 2000(3) voxels on specimens up to 60mm in extent with resolutions down to 2 microm. This allows the 3D structure of tissue engineered materials to be imaged across three orders of magnitude of detail. The capabilities of micro-CT are demonstrated by imaging the Haversian network within human femoral cortical bone (distal diaphysis) and bone ingrowth into a porous scaffold at varying resolutions. Phase identification combined with 3D visualisation enables one to observe the complex topology of the canalicular system of the cortical bone. Imaging of the tissue engineered bone at a scale of 1cm and resolutions of 10 microm allows visualisation of the complex ingrowth of bone into the polymer scaffold. Further imaging at 2 microm resolution allows observation of bone ultra-structure. These observations illustrate the benefits of tomography over traditional techniques for the characterisation of bone morphology and interconnectivity and performs a complimentary role to current histomorphometric techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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