As the field of tissue engineering advances, it is crucial to develop imaging methods capable of providing detailed three-dimensional information on tissue structure. X-ray imaging techniques based on phase-contrast (PC) have great potential for a number of biomedical applications due to their ability to provide information about soft tissue structure without exogenous contrast agents. X-ray PC techniques retain the excellent spatial resolution, tissue penetration, and calcified tissue contrast of conventional X-ray techniques while providing drastically improved imaging of soft tissue and biomaterials. This suggests that X-ray PC techniques are very promising for evaluation of engineered tissues. In this review, four different implementations of X-ray PC imaging are described and applications to tissues of relevance to tissue engineering reviewed. In addition, recent applications of X-ray PC to the evaluation of biomaterial scaffolds and engineered tissues are presented and areas for further development and application of these techniques are discussed. Imaging techniques based on X-ray PC have significant potential for improving our ability to image and characterize engineered tissues, and their continued development and optimization could have significant impact on the field of tissue engineering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering