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Non-invasive molecular fingerprinting of cells and tissues

  1. Top of page
  2. Non-invasive molecular fingerprinting of cells and tissues
  3. Creating physiological conditions outside the body
  4. 3D elastic fiber dermal construct as a tool for tissue engineering

Brauchle and Schenke-Layland, Biotechnol. J. 2013, 8, 288–297.

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Non-invasive optical methods have become more and more important in the field of biomedical research and diagnostics. During the past decade, Raman spectroscopy has emerged as one of the most interesting laser-based technologies for non-contact diagnosis. Raman spectroscopy uses inelastic light scattering to provide sample-specific molecular information. Such spectral information has repeatedly been shown to be valuable for the characterization and analysis of a broad-spectrum of biological specimens, from small microorganisms to whole tissue biopsies. In this issue, Brauchle and Schenke-Layland (Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, Stuttgart, Germany) give an overview of the biomedical, in vitro applications of Raman spectroscopy. This review recaps recent progress in Raman spectral identification of microorganisms and discusses more complex spectral analysis in mammalian cell cultures and extracellular matrix components.

Creating physiological conditions outside the body

  1. Top of page
  2. Non-invasive molecular fingerprinting of cells and tissues
  3. Creating physiological conditions outside the body
  4. 3D elastic fiber dermal construct as a tool for tissue engineering

Groeber et al., Biotechnol. J. 2013, 8, 308–316.

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Inside the human body, tissues and organs are embedded into a complex macro-environment that determines the form and function of an organ. Nutrients and oxygen are supplied to the organ by the pulsatile blood flow created by the beating heart. On the other hand, artificial tissues, made in the laboratory, are usually simply submerged in growth media, where they miss vital stimuli, and the size of engineered tissues is limited, due to the lack of a perfused vasculature. In this issue, Groeber et al. (Institute for Interfacial Engineering, University of Stuttgart, Germany) describe the development of a device that is capable of creating a suitable macro-environment for engineered vascularized tissues, which uses a sophisticated fluidic system to provide an artificial blood stream. Vascularized skin equivalents have a broad spectrum of application for use as advanced wound dressings or as test systems in place of animal experiments.

3D elastic fiber dermal construct as a tool for tissue engineering

  1. Top of page
  2. Non-invasive molecular fingerprinting of cells and tissues
  3. Creating physiological conditions outside the body
  4. 3D elastic fiber dermal construct as a tool for tissue engineering

Sommer et al., Biotechnol. J. 2013, 8, 317–326.

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Elastin is one of the most important fiber proteins in connective tissue. It is responsible for elasticity of tissues such as skin, lung, and vessel walls. The loss of elastin can cause diseases such as Marfan Syndrome or Cutis laxa. In mammals, the levels of elastin production are highest only during two points of the organism's lifetime – embryogenesis and wound healing. In this issue, Sommer et al. (Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg, Germany) present and fully characterize a 3D elastic fiber dermal construct based on growth factor (TGF-β1) stimulation for bioengineering purposes. Characterization of the construct was conducted using various imaging techniques (multiphoton, confocal and electron microscopy, and nanorods) combined with cross-link analyses. This tissue-engineered dermal construct may prove to be an effective template for the development of medicinal approaches in regenerative soft skin tissue reconstruction through TGF-β1 induction.