Novel use of X-ray micro computed tomography to image rat sciatic nerve and integration into scaffold

This paper describes how specimens of nervous tissue can be prepared for successful imaging in X-ray Micro Computed Tomography (μCT), and how this method can be used to study the integration of nervous tissue into a polymeric scaffold. The sample preparation involves staining the biological tissue with osmium tetroxide to increase its X-ray attenuation, and a technique for maintaining the specimen in a moist environment during the experiment to prevent drying and shrinkage. Using this method it was possible to observe individual nerve fascicles and their relationship to the 3-D tissue structure. A scaffold supporting a regenerated sciatic nerve was similarly stained to distinguish the nervous tissue from the scaffold, and to observe how the nerve grew through a 2.5 mm long, 100 μm × 100 μm cross-section channel polyimide array. Furthermore, blood vessels could be identified in these images, and it was possible to monitor how a large proximal blood vessel split through the channel scaffold and proceeded down individual channels. This paper explains how μCT is a useful tool both for studying the location and extent of growth into a polymeric scaffold, and for determining whether the regenerated tissue has blood supply.

Published in:
Journal of neuroscience methods, 188, 1, 39-44

 Record created 2012-05-01, last modified 2019-12-05

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