Non-invasive optical characterization of tissue structure.
Non-invasive optical characterization of tissue structure.

Nonlinear optical molecular imaging and quantitative analytic methods were developed to non-invasively assess the viability of tissue-engineered constructs manufactured from primary human cells. Label-free optical measures of local tissue structure and biochemistry characterized morphologic and functional differences between controls and stressed constructs. Rigorous statistical analysis accounted for variability between human patients. Fluorescence intensity-based spatial assessment and metabolic sensing differentiated controls from thermally-stressed and from metabolically-stressed constructs. Fluorescence lifetime-based sensing differentiated controls from thermally-stressed constructs. Unlike traditional histological (found to be generally reliable, but destructive) and biochemical (non-invasive, but found to be unreliable) tissue analyses, label-free optical assessments had the advantages of being both non-invasive and reliable. Thus, such optical measures could serve as reliable manufacturing release criteria for cell-based tissue-engineered constructs prior to human implantation, thereby addressing a critical regulatory need in regenerative medicine.

This paper was originally published in Biomaterials 35 (2014) Pages 6667-6676.

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