Contrast agents for micro-computed tomography (microCT) imaging of soft biological tissues and scaffold materials

Project description

The Integrative Cartilage Research Group at the University of Melbourne researches links between microstructure, mechanics and biological signalling networks.

Micro-CT is a valuable imaging technology for visualising structure, however objects of interest need to absorb x-rays in order to be seen. For many soft biological materials, including tissue-engineered scaffold materials, this is not the case. In this project, the goal is to investigate and develop contrast agents for visualising soft biological tissues and scaffold materials; for example, cartilage, ligament and tendon.

Contrast agent requirements include:

- visualisation and delineation of soft tissues and scaffold materials with microCT

- biocompatible (cells and tissues) 

- easily introduced (injection, immersion) and rinsed out

- highly-reproducible synthesis

The project involves monitoring of biosignals and biomarkers in biological constructs. The work requires a creative approach to developing new protocols for evaluating biological and mechanical signalling networks in tissues.

Project team

Leader: Kathryn Stok

Staff: Andrea O'Connor, Zihui Li

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contrast agent; imaging