Cell-based engineered tissue models have been increasingly useful in the field of tissue engineering, in in vitro drug screening systems, and in complex cell biology studies. While techniques for engineering tissue models have advanced, there have been few imaging technique capable of assessing the complex 3-D cell behaviors in real-time and at the depths that comprise thick tissues. Understanding cell behavior requires advanced imaging tools to progress from characterizing 2-D cell cultures to complex, highly-scattering; thick 3-D tissue constructs. In this study, we demonstrate that it is possible to use OCT to non-destructively evaluate dynamic cell behavior and function in a quantitative fashion in four dimensions (3-D space plus time). Dynamic processes including cell migration, proliferation, apoptosis, necrosis, and mechanical restructuring are observed during engineering tissue development. With high penetration depth and increased spatial and temporal resolution in 3-D space, OCT will be a useful tool for improving our understanding of cell dynamics in situ and in real-time, for elucidating the complex biological interactions, and for directing our designs toward functional and biomimetic engineered tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number58610Z
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - Dec 19 2005
EventOptical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Techniques II - Munich, Germany
Duration: Jun 12 2005Jun 16 2005


  • Cell dynamics
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Three-dimensional microscopy
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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