A University of Missouri-Columbia researcher has developed a machine to perform analysis of tissue-engineered grafts and organs such as vessels and valves. From the press office at the University of Missouri-Columbia:
For more than two years, Mark Haidekker, assistant professor of biological engineering, has worked to create a device that examines the quality of the grafts and vessels that companies like Cytograft Tissue Engineering, who he currently is working with, develop. This will dramatically decrease the number of possible flaws in the tissues and vessels manufactured.
For example, the process of creating blood vessels involves removing a stamp-sized section of tissue from the patient’s arm. The cells from the tissue are grown and expanded into a sheet of cells in culture, and then rolled into the vessel. Since the vessels are made on an individual basis, monitoring their growth is crucial. Structural similarity and adequate thickness must be ensured, and there can be no weaknesses or deformities. Haidekker’s machine solves those problems.
The device, which involves a technique called optical transillumination tomography, examines the tissue using a laser beam and generates a 3D image of the tissue that can be analyzed on a computer. This allows Haidekker to test the tissue in a non-invasive way for thickness, structure similarity, density and possible defects…
“This is a quality control device that will save lives,” Haidekker said.