Tissue engineered medical products (TEMPs) often consist of a three-dimensional synthetic scaffold that provides form and foundation for the cells as they produce the tissue of interest. Successful TEMPs will allow cell infiltration, and foster proliferation and differentiation within the scaffold. Cell infiltration and behavior may depend on a multitude of factors intrinsic to the scaffold, including global and local structure, surface composition, and other physical properties, such as modulus. While it is generally understood that a complex interaction of many variables influences the success of the TEMPs, the precise nature of these interactions has yet to be worked out in many instances. A significant difficulty in furthering the understanding of the interaction between these factors and cell behavior is the lack of a high-resolution imaging technique that can penetrate deeply into the scaffold. Towards meeting this need, we have built a co-linear optical coherence and confocal fluorescence microscope (OCM/CFM) to non-invasively monitor both structure (OCM) and function (CFM) in a TEMP. In this work, we use briefly describe OCM/CFM. We then use it to characterize polymer scaffolds seeded with osteoblasts and compare the images with those gathered using LSCM.
Citation: Optics Express
Issue: No. 23
Pub Type: Journals
confocal fluorescence microscopy, imaging, issue engineering, optical coherence microscopy, scaffold