In the joint project “BioopTiss” between the Ulm University Medical Center and Ulm University of Applied Sciences, a bioreactor is under development to grow facial cartilage by the methods of tissue engineering. In order to ensure a sufficient quality of the cartilage for implantation, the cartilage growth must be monitored continuously. Current monitoring methods destroy the cultured cartilage so that it is no longer suitable for implantation. Alternatively, it is possible to analyze the cartilage using fluorescence spectroscopy with UV light excitation. This allows a non-invasive assessment of cartilage in terms of composition and quality. The cultured cartilage tissue can reach a size of several square centimeters. For recording fluorescence spectra of every point of the cartilage sample, a highly sensitive spectral camera has been developed which allows distinguishing collagen I from collagen II non-invasively by their fluorescence. This spectral camera operates according to the computed tomography imaging spectrometry (CTIS) principle, which allows obtaining many spectra of a small area with only one snapshot.
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