Imaging the hard/soft tissue interface
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Interfaces between different tissues play an essential role in the biomechanics of native tissues and their recapitulation is now recognized as critical to function. As a consequence, imaging the hard/soft tissue interface has become increasingly important in the area of tissue engineering. Particularly as several biotechnology based products have made it onto the market or are close to human trials and an understanding of their function and development is essential. A range of imaging modalities have been developed that allow a wealth of information on the morphological and physical properties of samples to be obtained non-destructively in vivo or via destructive means. This review summarizes the use of a selection of imaging modalities on interfaces to date considering the strengths and weaknesses of each. We will also consider techniques which have not yet been utilized to their full potential or are likely to play a role in future work in the area.
KeywordsBiomechanics Enthesis Interface Imaging Native tissues Osteochondral junction Osteotendinous junction
The authors would like to the acknowledge the following for support and funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Project number BB/G022356/1 and Orthopedic Research UK, Project number 472.
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