A Brief Review of Visualization Techniques for Nerve Tissue Engineering Applications
In nerve tissue engineering, scaffolds act as carriers for cells and biochemical factors and as constructs providing appropriate mechanical conditions. During nerve regeneration, new tissue grows into the scaffolds, which degrade gradually. To optimize this process, researchers must study and analyze various morphological and structural features of the scaffolds, the ingrowth of nerve tissue, and scaffold degradation. Therefore, visualization of the scaffolds as well as the generated nerve tissue is essential, yet challenging Visualization techniques currently used in nerve tissue engineering include electron microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), and micro-computed tomography (micro-CT or μCT). Synchrotron-based micro-CT (SRμCT) is an emerging and promising technique, drawing considerable recent attention. Here, we review typical applications of these visualization techniques in nerve tissue engineering. The promise, feasibility, and challenges of SRμCT as a visualization technique applied to nerve tissue engineering are also discussed.
N. Zhu et al., "A Brief Review of Visualization Techniques for Nerve Tissue Engineering Applications", Journal of Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Vol. 7, pp. 81-99, 2010