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Tissue Engineering Scaffolds Based on Photocured Dimethacrylate Polymers for the In-Vitro Optical Imaging of Cellular Activity



Forrest A. Landis, J S. Stephens, James A. Cooper, Sheng Lin-Gibson


Model tissue engineering scaffolds based on photocurable resin mixtures with sodium chloride have been prepared for optical imaging studies of cell attachment. A photo-activated ethoxylated bisphenol-A dimethacrylate was mixed with sieved sodium chloride (NaCl) crystals and photocured to form a cross-linked composite. Upon soaking in water, the NaCl dissolved to leave a porous scaffold with good optical properties, mechanical integrity, and controlled porosity. Scaffolds were prepared with salt crystals that had been sieved to average diameters of 390 um, 300 um, 200 um, and 100 um yielding porosities of approximately 75 % by volume. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microcomputed tomography confirmed that the pore size distribution of the scaffolds could be controlled using this photocuring technique.Compression tests showed that for scaffolds with 84 % (by mass fraction) salt, the larger pore size scaffolds were more rigid, while the smaller pore size scaffolds were softer and more readily compressible. The prepared scaffolds were seeded with osteoblasts, cultured between 3 d to 18 d, and examined using confocal microscopy. Because the cross-linked polymer in the scaffolds is an amorphous glass, it was possible to optically image cells that were over 400 um beneath the surface of the sample. These materials will be used for an upcoming study utilizing optical coherence microscopy to examine the relationships between the 3-dimensional structure of the scaffold and the cell response.


cell morphology, confocal microscopy, image analysis, mechanical properties, photopolymerization, scaffold


Landis, F. , Stephens, J. , Cooper, J. and Lin-Gibson, S. (2006), Tissue Engineering Scaffolds Based on Photocured Dimethacrylate Polymers for the In-Vitro Optical Imaging of Cellular Activity, Biomacromolecules, [online], (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created March 13, 2006, Updated February 19, 2017