Imaging challenges in biomaterials and tissue engineering

Alyssa A. Appel, Mark A. Anastasio, Jeffery C. Larson, Eric M. Brey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Biomaterials are employed in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM) in order to enhance the regeneration or replacement of tissue function and/or structure. The unique environments resulting from the presence of biomaterials, cells, and tissues result in distinct challenges in regards to monitoring and assessing the results of these interventions. Imaging technologies for three-dimensional (3D) analysis have been identified as a strategic priority in TERM research. Traditionally, histological and immunohistochemical techniques have been used to evaluate engineered tissues. However, these methods do not allow for an accurate volume assessment, are invasive, and do not provide information on functional status. Imaging techniques are needed that enable non-destructive, longitudinal, quantitative, and three-dimensional analysis of TERM strategies. This review focuses on evaluating the application of available imaging modalities for assessment of biomaterials and tissue in TERM applications. Included is a discussion of limitations of these techniques and identification of areas for further development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6615-6630
Number of pages16
Issue number28
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluorescence
  • Image analysis
  • Molecular imaging
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • X-ray CT imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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