Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Print version ISSN 0021-2571
BARBETTA, Andrea; BEDINI, Rossella; PECCI, Raffaella and DENTINI, Mariella. Role of X-ray microtomography in tissue engineering . Ann. Ist. Super. Sanità [online]. 2012, vol.48, n.1, pp.10-18. ISSN 0021-2571. http://dx.doi.org/10.4415/ANN_12_01_03.
The structure and architecture of scaffolds are crucial factors in scaffolds-based tissue engineering since they affect the functionality of the tissue engineering construct and the eventual application in health care. Therefore, effective scaffold assessment techniques are required right at the initial stages of research and development so as to select or design scaffolds with suitable properties. Furthermore, since the biological performances of a scaffold is evaluated with respect to its capacity of favouring cell adhesion, proliferation as well as production of extracellular matrix, it is important to have an analytical technique able to monitor the various stages of cell culture both in vitro and especially in vivo. Finally, the development of a vascular network inside the cell scaffold construct is a fundamental requisite for achieving a full integration of the developing tissue with the host tissue. Also in this respect it is mandatory to assess the propensity of the scaffold to be permeated by blood vessels. In the review, it will be shown how X-ray microtomography (micro-CT) can give fundamental information regarding all the three aspects outlined above.
Keywords : X-ray microtomography; tissue engineering; scaffolds; vascularization; tissue-engineered bone.