Assessment of blood vessel mimics with optical coherence tomography

Garret T. Bonnema, Kristen O. Cardinal, James B. McNally, Stuart K. Williams, Jennifer K. Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an imaging modality that enables assessment of tissue structural characteristics. Studies have indicated that OCT is a useful method to assess both blood vessel morphology and the response of a vessel to a deployed stent. We evaluated the ability of OCT to visualize the cellular lining of a tissue-engineered blood vessel mimic (BVM) and the response of this lining to a bare metal stent. We develop a side-firing endoscope that obtains intraluminal, longitudinal scans within the sterile bioreactor environment, enabling time-serial assessment. Seventeen BVMs are imaged with the endoscopic OCT system. The BVMs are then evaluated via fluorescence microscopy and/or standard histologic techniques. We determine that (1) the OCT endoscope can be repeatedly inserted without visible damage to the BVM cellular lining, (2) OCT provides a precise measure of cellular lining thickness with good correlation to measurements obtained from histological sections, and (3) OCT is capable of monitoring the accumulation of cellular material in response to a metallic stent. Our studies indicate that OCT is a useful technique for monitoring the BVM cellular lining, and that OCT may facilitate the use of BVMs for early stage device assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024018
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Blood vessel mimic
  • Endoscope
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Stents
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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