Tissue engineering strategies for spinal cord repair are a primary focus of translational medicine after spinal cord injury (SCI). Many tissue engineering strategies employ three-dimensional scaffolds, which are made of biodegradable materials and have microstructure incorporated with viable cells and bioactive molecules to promote new tissue generation and functional recovery after SCI. It is therefore important to develop an imaging system that visualizes both the microstructure of three-dimensional scaffolds and their degradation process after SCI. Here, X-ray phase-contrast computed tomography imaging based on the Talbot grating interferometer is described and it is shown how it can visualize the polyglycolic acid scaffold, including its microfibres, after implantation into the injured spinal cord. Furthermore, X-ray phase-contrast computed tomography images revealed that degradation occurred from the end to the centre of the braided scaffold in the 28 days after implantation into the injured spinal cord. The present report provides the first demonstration of an imaging technique that visualizes both the microstructure and degradation of biodegradable scaffolds in SCI research. X-ray phase-contrast imaging based on the Talbot grating interferometer is a versatile technique that can be used for a broad range of preclinical applications in tissue engineering strategies.
- Talbot grating interferometer
- X-ray phase-contrast CT
- spinal cord injury
- tissue engineering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics