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Nondestructive testing of native and tissue-engineered medical products: adding numbers to pictures



Nathan Castro, Greta Babakhanova, Jerry Hu, Kyriacos Athanasiou


Traditional testing methods have helped to elucidate and correlate the structure-function relationship of natural tissues and have guided the development of promising tissue-engineered medical products. From a manufacturing standpoint, such assays have been used for in-line quality assurance and control, but the translation and adoption of destructive tests to biomanufacturing workflows for tissue-engineered medical products can be limited due to the inherent costs-to-manufacture and the need for aseptic processes. To address this, nondestructive and minimally invasive testing modalities have risen in prominence to holistically interrogate not only structure and function, but also to integrate quantitative measurements of biochemical composition to cross-correlate structural, compositional, and functional variances for diagnostic and quality control purposes. Herein, a survey of relevant literature related to nondestructive testing of soft tissues which add numbers (quantitative measurements) to pictures (qualitative data) is presented using articular cartilage as an exemplary tissue. Recent efforts focusing on prominent trends and technologies, as well as a perspective on packaging/form factors for clinical and in-line biomanufacturing applications, are included.
Trends in Biotechnology


Tissue-engineered medical products, nondestructive testing, multimodal imaging, articular cartilage, elastography


Castro, N. , Babakhanova, G. , Hu, J. and Athanasiou, K. (2021), Nondestructive testing of native and tissue-engineered medical products: adding numbers to pictures, Trends in Biotechnology, [online],, (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created July 24, 2021, Updated February 8, 2023