Polymer Science Faculty Research

Evaluation of bioreactor-cultivated bone by magnetic resonance microscopy and FTIR microspectroscopy

William Landis, The University of Akron


We present a three-dimensional mineralizing model based on a hollow fiber bioreactor (HFBR) inoculated with primary osteoblasts isolated from embryonic chick calvaria. Using non-invasive magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM), the growth and development of the mineralized tissue around the individual fibers were monitored over a period of 9 weeks. Spatial maps of the water proton MRM properties of the intact tissue, with 78 microm resolution, were used to determine changes in tissue composition with development. Unique changes in the mineral and collagen content of the tissue were detected with high specificity by proton density (PD) and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) maps, respectively. At the end of the growth period, the presence of a bone-like tissue was verified by histology and the formation of poorly crystalline apatite was verified by selected area electron diffraction and electron probe X-ray microanalysis. FTIR microspectroscopy confirmed the heterogeneous nature of the bone-like tissue formed. FTIR-derived phosphate maps confirmed that those locations with the lowest PD values contained the most mineral, and FTIR-derived collagen maps confirmed that bright pixels on MTR maps corresponded to regions of high collagen content. In conclusion, the spatial mapping of tissue constituents by FTIR microspectroscopy corroborated the findings of non-invasive MRM measurements and supported the role of MRM in monitoring the bone formation process in vitro.