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Methods for Characterization of Bioactivity Using Confocal Microscopy



Jirun Sun, Nancy Lin, Joy Dunkers, Sheng Lin-Gibson


One common tissue engineering approach for regenerating or replacing damaged tissues involves a porous polymeric scaffold. The scaffolds serve as the mechanical framework for cell attachment and growth, and generate an environment with features that span multiple-length scales to guide cell differentiation and tissue regeneration. Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) is a useful technique to evaluate cell adhesion and spatial distribution within a scaffold since it is designed to collect image slices through the sample thickness. This chapter discusses the methods to evaluate cell distribution in the scaffolds using LSCM. Cell distribution in 3D scaffolds was characterized using new methods developed for the LSCM. Scaffold porosity and pore size are important factors for cell proliferation and distribution in 3D. Porosity affects diffusion and is vital for nutrient distribution and waste removal. All methods utilized the imaging capabilities of the LSCM while also taking advantage of the low-scattering nature of the amorphous polymers.
Designing Bioactive Polymeric Materials for Restorative Dentistry
Publisher Info
CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL


cell density, cell distribution, confocal imaging, three-dimensional scaffolds, tissue engineering


Sun, J. , Lin, N. , Dunkers, J. and Lin-Gibson, S. (2020), Methods for Characterization of Bioactivity Using Confocal Microscopy, Designing Bioactive Polymeric Materials for Restorative Dentistry, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, [online],, (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created December 1, 2020, Updated October 14, 2021