Extended Monitoring of Osteogenesis using MRI-compatible Tissue Culture System
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The extracellular matrix (ECM) is highly dynamic; understanding its biochemical and mechanical properties is necessary for successful tissue regeneration. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been used as a tool to investigate the magnetic relaxation response of water in the ECM by measuring the changes in spin-lattice (T1) and spin-spin (T2) relaxation times non-invasively with sub-millimeter resolution, thereby overcoming the shortcomings of optical microscopy, micro CT etc. The long imaging period involved in analyzing the tissue engineered scaffolds containing cells renders the tissue "dead" within the magnet. To maintain cell viability for an extended period of time, an MRI-compatible culture system was designed for continuous serial monitoring of the osteogenic differentiation in tissue engineered constructs. We hypothesized that this culture system would permit cell viability when placed within the magnet without compromising on the behavior of the cells or the integrity of the MRI scanner. The MRI-compatible tissue culture system was found to be successful in maintaining the morphology and viability of the cells within constructs, but the behavior of the constructs cultured in the MRI-compatible housing was significantly different from that of the constructs cultured in conventional tissue culture system.
MRI-compatible culture system
tissue engineered constructs