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26 February 2014 Dimensional characterisation of collagen constructs in situ
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We present results of a non contacting instrument based on the confocal scanning technique for assessing the thickness and structure of collagen substrates and tissue constructs. There is an unmet need in the creation of tissue constructs to quantitatively evaluate their dimensional characteristics during manufacture. With this knowledge more effective structures can be produced. The measurement is complicated by the need to make these measurements in situ. For many processes, including the plastic compression of collagen gels for generating 3D structures, the constructs are situated in a liquid solution contained in a well plate or similar container. It is therefore necessary to perform the measurements through an interfering medium and this confounds many measurement techniques. A system has therefore been developed that utilizes a scanning confocal arrangement to accurately measure the dimensional characteristics of these constructs in situ. A fiber based optical arrangement using compact, proven components from the telecommunications industry has been integrated into a dedicated system architecture so that the constructs can be measured whilst in production. This architecture is particularly important due to the “wet” nature of the samples. The meter can measure constructs with thicknesses from a few tens of micrometers up to 0.9 millimeters with sub-micrometer resolution. Results are presented that show how the meter has been used to evaluate changes in these collagen constructs whilst in production. This was little understood prior to these measurements and the greater understanding of how the materials behave has allowed the process to be greatly improved.
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R. Taylor, J. Reynolds, B. Chikkanna, D. Daly, R. A. Brown, and N. S. Tan "Dimensional characterisation of collagen constructs in situ", Proc. SPIE 8946, Optical Elastography and Tissue Biomechanics, 89460W (26 February 2014);

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