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Non-Invasive and In Situ Characterization of the Degradation of Biomaterial Scaffolds by Volumetric Photoacoustic Microscopy

Authors

  • Dr. Yu Shrike Zhang,

    1. The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332 (USA)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Xin Cai,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (USA)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Dr. Junjie Yao,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (USA)
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  • Wenxin Xing,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (USA)
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  • Prof. Lihong V. Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (USA)
    • Lihong V. Wang, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (USA)

      Younan Xia, The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332 (USA)

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  • Prof. Younan Xia

    Corresponding author
    1. The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332 (USA)
    • Lihong V. Wang, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (USA)

      Younan Xia, The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332 (USA)

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  • We thank Prof. James Ballard for careful reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (DP1 OD000798) and startup funds from Washington University in St. Louis and Georgia Institute of Technology (to Y.X.). This work was also sponsored by NIH grants (R01 EB000712, R01 EB008085, R01 CA140220, R01 CA157277, R01 CA159959, and U54 CA136398, to L.V.W.).

Abstract

Degradation is among the most important properties of biomaterial scaffolds, which are indispensable for regenerative medicine. The currently used method relies on the measurement of mass loss across different samples and cannot track the degradation of an individual scaffold in situ. Here we report, for the first time, the use of multiscale photoacoustic microscopy to non-invasively monitor the degradation of an individual scaffold. We could observe alterations to the morphology and structure of a scaffold at high spatial resolution and deep penetration, and more significantly, quantify the degradation of an individual scaffold as a function of time, both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the remodeling of vasculature inside a scaffold can be visualized simultaneously using a dual-wavelength scanning mode in a label-free manner. This optoacoustic method can be used to monitor the degradation of individual scaffolds, offering a new approach to non-invasively analyze and quantify biomaterial–tissue interactions in conjunction with the assessment of in vivo vascular parameters.

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