Near Infrared Spectroscopic Fiber Optic Methods for Assessment of Engineered Tissues

Tissue engineering strategies designed to produce cartilage-mimetic materials have seen only limited success; a significant impediment is the inability to fully assess the structure of developing tissue.  NIR radiation penetrates tissues to a depth of millimeters-to-centimeters, and therefore holds the potential for non-invasive assessment of engineered constructs. Such ability would permit appropriate ongoing interventions to modify the tissue towards desired structural and compositional endpoints.  Goals of this project include the establishment of NIR analysis for evaluation of engineered cartilage and other constructs in situ, and spectroscopic identification of cell phenotype in culture.