The tissue-engineered cartilages after implantation were nonuniform tissues which were mingling with biodegradable polymers, regeneration cartilage and others. It is a hard task to evaluate the biodegradation of polymers or the maturation of regenerated tissues in the transplants by the conventional examination. Otherwise, scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM) system specially developed to measure the tissue acoustic properties at a microscopic level. In this study, we examined acoustic properties of the tissue-engineered cartilage using SAM, and discuss the usefulness of this devise in the field of tissue engineering. We administered chondrocytes/atelocollagen mixture into the scaffolds of various polymers, and transplanted the constructs in the subcutaneous areas of nude mice for 2. months. We harvested them and examined the sound speed and the attenuation in the section of each construct by the SAM. As the results, images mapping the sound speed exhibited homogenous patterns mainly colored in blue, in all the tissue-engineered cartilage constructs. Contrarily, the images of the attenuation by SAM showed the variation of color ranged between blue and red. The low attenuation area colored in red, which meant hard materials, were corresponding to the polymer remnant in the toluidine blue images. The localizations of blue were almost similar with the metachromatic areas in the histology. In conclusion, the SAM is regarded as a useful tool to provide the information on acoustic properties and their localizations in the transplants that consist of heterogeneous tissues with various components.
- Acoustic microscopy
- Biodegradable polymer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology