• non-linear microscopy;
  • CARS;
  • SHG;
  • tissue engineering;
  • smooth muscle cells;
  • cellulose scaffold


Non-linear microscopy has been used to characterize bovine smooth muscle cells and their proliferation, migration, and differentiation in hydrogel cellulose scaffolds, toward the development of fully functional blood vessel implants. The extracellular matrix (ECM) composed of cellulose and endogenous collagen fibers was imaged using Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) microscopy and the cell morphology by Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS) microscopy. Images prove that cells adhere on the cellulose scaffold without additional surface modification and that both contractile and proliferating phenotypes are developed. This work shows that non-linear microscopy contributes with unique insights in cell interactions with (artificial) ECM components and has the potential to become an established characterization method in tissue engineering. (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)