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Biomaterials. 2008 Oct;29(28):3757-61. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.06.018. Epub 2008 Jul 16.

3D imaging of tissue integration with porous biomaterials.

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1
Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, 315 Ferst Drive, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0405, USA. robert.guidberg@me.gatech.edu

Abstract

Porous biomaterials designed to support cellular infiltration and tissue formation play a critical role in implant fixation and engineered tissue repair. The purpose of this Leading Opinion Paper is to advocate the use of high resolution 3D imaging techniques as a tool to quantify extracellular matrix formation and vascular ingrowth within porous biomaterials and objectively compare different strategies for functional tissue regeneration. An initial over-reliance on qualitative evaluation methods may have contributed to the false perception that developing effective tissue engineering technologies would be relatively straightforward. Moreover, the lack of comparative studies with quantitative metrics in challenging pre-clinical models has made it difficult to determine which of the many available strategies to invest in or use clinically for companies and clinicians, respectively. This paper will specifically illustrate the use of microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) imaging with and without contrast agents to nondestructively quantify the formation of bone, cartilage, and vasculature within porous biomaterials.

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