: The demand for artificial or bioartificial engineered tissues is increasing today in regenerative medicine techniques to replace and restore the physiological function of damaged tissues. Such engineered constructs hold different properties depending on the tissue to be replicated. As for vascularized tissues, complex biocompatible structures, namely scaffolds, play a key role in supporting oxygen and nutrient supply, thus sustaining tissue neoformation and integration with the host. Scaffold architecture significantly impacts its regenerative potential, while preclinical trials are essential to define scaffold-host interactions. In compliance with the 3 R principle, there is a clear need to optimize both the procedures to evaluate scaffold performance and the analysis methodology decreasing the number of animals required to gain consistent data. In parallel, current technologies used in preclinical research generate huge amounts of data that need to be elaborated and interpreted correctly. Therefore, we designed this study to evaluate the results of scaffold integration with the host tissue after implantation in a mouse subcutaneous pocket model. We evaluated the angiogenic response developed by the host and the degree of scaffold integration by using a combined morphometric approach based on both histological and micro-CT analyses. Six-layer scaffolds, made of polycaprolactone (PCL) microspheres, with an ordered structure were produced by thermal sintering. Scaffolds were then implanted in BALB/c mice and retrieved 21 days post-implantation when the animals were deeply anesthetized and perfused with Microfil, a contrast agent for micro-CT. Here, we describe a method to extract quantitative data from micro-CT reconstructions such as (i) total vessel volume; (ii)% of vessel penetration; (iii) distribution of vessel diameters. The general principle of this approach is the refinement of the region of interest (ROI), thus producing a volume of interest (VOI) that matches scaffold volume. This VOI serves as a dataset from which to extract volumetric information. Then VOIs are divided into three identical parts, proximal, median, and distal, to follow the vessel progression into the scaffold, thus obtaining their depth of penetration (DoP). By this methodology, we observed in mean, among the analyzed samples, a vessel invasion for 1,38 mm3 corresponding to the 1,53% of the scaffold volume. We then looked at the diameter distribution being this value a key indicator of vessel maturity, highlighting that 55% of vessels fall into the range from 5,99-53.99 µm while the remaining 45% are distributed into intervals from 54 to 136 µm. In parallel, to evaluate tissue integration in detail, histological and immunofluorescent analyses were performed to look at vessel distribution and collagen synthesis. Histological results strongly correlate with the micro-CT data providing, however, an overview of the ingrowth tissues. In addition, by immunofluorescent analysis we demonstrate that newly formed vessels are mature at the considered time point and tissue collagen deposition is widespread within the scaffolds. Collectively, we propose a new method to track vessel formation by using a multi-modal approach posing the basis for: i) the fabrication of novel scaffolds for Tissue Engineering; ii) the integration of detailed information for a wide range of morphological and functional analyses.

Integration of micro-CT and histology data for vasculature morpho-functional analysis in tissue regeneration / Palladino, A.; Salerno, A.; Crasto, A.; Lucini, C.; Maruccio, L.; D'Angelo, L.; Netti, P. A.; de Girolamo, P.; Cacchioli, A.; Attanasio, C.; Ravanetti, F.. - In: ANNALS OF ANATOMY. - ISSN 0940-9602. - 245:(2023), p. 152019. [10.1016/j.aanat.2022.152019]

Integration of micro-CT and histology data for vasculature morpho-functional analysis in tissue regeneration

Cacchioli A.;Ravanetti F.
2023-01-01

Abstract

: The demand for artificial or bioartificial engineered tissues is increasing today in regenerative medicine techniques to replace and restore the physiological function of damaged tissues. Such engineered constructs hold different properties depending on the tissue to be replicated. As for vascularized tissues, complex biocompatible structures, namely scaffolds, play a key role in supporting oxygen and nutrient supply, thus sustaining tissue neoformation and integration with the host. Scaffold architecture significantly impacts its regenerative potential, while preclinical trials are essential to define scaffold-host interactions. In compliance with the 3 R principle, there is a clear need to optimize both the procedures to evaluate scaffold performance and the analysis methodology decreasing the number of animals required to gain consistent data. In parallel, current technologies used in preclinical research generate huge amounts of data that need to be elaborated and interpreted correctly. Therefore, we designed this study to evaluate the results of scaffold integration with the host tissue after implantation in a mouse subcutaneous pocket model. We evaluated the angiogenic response developed by the host and the degree of scaffold integration by using a combined morphometric approach based on both histological and micro-CT analyses. Six-layer scaffolds, made of polycaprolactone (PCL) microspheres, with an ordered structure were produced by thermal sintering. Scaffolds were then implanted in BALB/c mice and retrieved 21 days post-implantation when the animals were deeply anesthetized and perfused with Microfil, a contrast agent for micro-CT. Here, we describe a method to extract quantitative data from micro-CT reconstructions such as (i) total vessel volume; (ii)% of vessel penetration; (iii) distribution of vessel diameters. The general principle of this approach is the refinement of the region of interest (ROI), thus producing a volume of interest (VOI) that matches scaffold volume. This VOI serves as a dataset from which to extract volumetric information. Then VOIs are divided into three identical parts, proximal, median, and distal, to follow the vessel progression into the scaffold, thus obtaining their depth of penetration (DoP). By this methodology, we observed in mean, among the analyzed samples, a vessel invasion for 1,38 mm3 corresponding to the 1,53% of the scaffold volume. We then looked at the diameter distribution being this value a key indicator of vessel maturity, highlighting that 55% of vessels fall into the range from 5,99-53.99 µm while the remaining 45% are distributed into intervals from 54 to 136 µm. In parallel, to evaluate tissue integration in detail, histological and immunofluorescent analyses were performed to look at vessel distribution and collagen synthesis. Histological results strongly correlate with the micro-CT data providing, however, an overview of the ingrowth tissues. In addition, by immunofluorescent analysis we demonstrate that newly formed vessels are mature at the considered time point and tissue collagen deposition is widespread within the scaffolds. Collectively, we propose a new method to track vessel formation by using a multi-modal approach posing the basis for: i) the fabrication of novel scaffolds for Tissue Engineering; ii) the integration of detailed information for a wide range of morphological and functional analyses.
2023
Integration of micro-CT and histology data for vasculature morpho-functional analysis in tissue regeneration / Palladino, A.; Salerno, A.; Crasto, A.; Lucini, C.; Maruccio, L.; D'Angelo, L.; Netti, P. A.; de Girolamo, P.; Cacchioli, A.; Attanasio, C.; Ravanetti, F.. - In: ANNALS OF ANATOMY. - ISSN 0940-9602. - 245:(2023), p. 152019. [10.1016/j.aanat.2022.152019]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2937476
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