A complete morphologic characterization of porous scaffolds for tissue engineering application is fundamental, as the architectural parameters, in particular porosity, strongly affect the mechanical and biological performance of the structures. Therefore, appropriate techniques for this purpose need to be selected. Several techniques for the assessment of scaffold porosity have been proposed, including scanning electron microscopy observation, mercury and liquid extrusion porosimetry, gas pycnometry, and capillary flow porometry. Each of these techniques has several drawbacks and, a combination of different techniques is often required so as to achieve an in depth study of the morphologic properties of the scaffold. A single technique is often limited and suitable only for the assessment of a specific parameter. To overcome this limit, the most attractive option would be a single nondestructive technique, yet capable of providing a comprehensive set of data. It appears that micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) can potentially fulfill this role. Initially developed to characterize the 3D trabecular microarchitecture of bone, its use has been recently exploited by researchers for the morphologic characterization of porous biomaterials, as it enables obtaining a full assessment of the porous structures both in terms of pore size and interconnected porosity. This review aims to explore the use of micro-CT in scaffold characterization, comparing it with other previously developed techniques; we also focus on the contribution of this innovative tool to the development of scaffold-based tissue engineering application.

Assessment of scaffold porosity: the new route of micro-CT

BERTOLDI, SERENA;FARE', SILVIA;TANZI, MARIA CRISTINA
2011

Abstract

A complete morphologic characterization of porous scaffolds for tissue engineering application is fundamental, as the architectural parameters, in particular porosity, strongly affect the mechanical and biological performance of the structures. Therefore, appropriate techniques for this purpose need to be selected. Several techniques for the assessment of scaffold porosity have been proposed, including scanning electron microscopy observation, mercury and liquid extrusion porosimetry, gas pycnometry, and capillary flow porometry. Each of these techniques has several drawbacks and, a combination of different techniques is often required so as to achieve an in depth study of the morphologic properties of the scaffold. A single technique is often limited and suitable only for the assessment of a specific parameter. To overcome this limit, the most attractive option would be a single nondestructive technique, yet capable of providing a comprehensive set of data. It appears that micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) can potentially fulfill this role. Initially developed to characterize the 3D trabecular microarchitecture of bone, its use has been recently exploited by researchers for the morphologic characterization of porous biomaterials, as it enables obtaining a full assessment of the porous structures both in terms of pore size and interconnected porosity. This review aims to explore the use of micro-CT in scaffold characterization, comparing it with other previously developed techniques; we also focus on the contribution of this innovative tool to the development of scaffold-based tissue engineering application.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/637390
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