Scanning Microscopy


Scanning and transmission electron microscopy are of clinical value in assessing the interaction between biomaterials and ingrowing tissues. Ultrastructural information allows the clinician and biomaterials specialist to determine events occurring during wound healing and the biocompatibility of prosthetic devices. This paper reviews some of the experimental and clinical studies done in our laboratory on the use of natural and reconstituted collagen as replacements for connective tissues. Consideration is given to collagen flakes used for the treatment of dermal ulcers, a collagen fiber prosthesis used for tendon and ligament replacement, the effects of chemical preservatives on cartilage used for replacement of tissues during plastic surgery and the growth and orientation of nerve cells on reconstituted collagen fibers. Our results show that reconstituted collagen can be prepared into prosthetic devices which encourage cell attachment and orientation thereby facilitating healing of injured tissues. Furthermore chemical preservation of cartilagenous tissues kills chondrocytes resulting in eventual resorption by inflammatory cells.

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