Using High-Powered Microscopes to Ensure the Effectiveness of Engineered Cells
High-powered microscopes are critical to the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Light microscopes, which use light to detect small objects, allow scientists to assess the size, shape and activity of engineered cells to ensure that they will function properly in the body. Light microscopy is also commonly used to visualize whole engineered tissues and organs.
Conofocal laser scanning microscopy is used to obtain high-resolution images of thick samples, including tissue. Using a process known as optical sectioning, the technology enables images to be acquired point-by-point and then reconstructed with a computer, which provides three-dimensional images.
Scanning electron microscopy uses electrons to create images of the tiny details on the surface of materials. The scanning electron microscope at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is specially designed to investigate biological specimens such as scaffolds and engineered tissue. Because scanning electron microscopy provides images that greatly exceed the magnification of conventional microscopes, this technology allows us to view scaffolds intricately to determine if cells are adhering properly.