New Georgia Tech research points to better ways to heal and regenerate bones using microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) imaging a process 1 million times more detailed than a traditional CT scan. The new micro-CT scan technique simultaneously looks at both vascularization (the process by which blood vessels invade body tissues during repair) and mineralization (the process by which mineral crystals form to harden regenerating bone) by collecting three-dimensional images in vitro and in vivo.
Georgia Tech researchers used the new technique to help develop bone graft substitutes that combine the availability and structural integrity of bone allografts, or bone grafts taken from a human donor, with the better healing properties of bone autografts, or bone grafts taken from the patient.
Unlike a traditional x-ray that only shows the presence of bone in two dimensions, the new micro-CT technique provides high-resolution 3-D images of vascularization and mineralization during bone repair. This approach allows tissue engineers to optimize the design of implants.
The findings of the project, headed by Dr. Robert Guldberg, a research director at the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues and an associate professor in Georgia Tech's School of Mechanical Engineering, will be presented Feb. 20 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
"We're applying 3-D imaging techniques to quantify vascularization and mineralization in order to evaluate which of these tissue engineering approaches is going to be able to best and most quickly restore bone function," Guldberg said. "We've always known that vascularization is very importa
Contact: Megan McRainey
Georgia Institute of Technology