Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Nonlinear Optical Microscopy for Viability Assessment of Tissue-Engineered Constructs

Technology #5249

Cell Viability Assessment of Engineered Tissue Constructs

Regenerative medicine aims to create functional engineered tissue constructs, such as EVPOMEs (ex vivo produced oral mucosa equivalents), to repair or replace damaged tissues. Prior to implantation, assessment of the engineered tissue’s cellular viability is required. Current assessment methods utilize histology, glucose consumption measurements, or other viability assays on a parallel tissue construct; however, these readings are not always consistent. These methods also lack the ability to locally measure cellular metabolic function from cells growing on the construct to be implanted without destroying it. Non-invasive cell viability assessments are needed to avoid damaging the engineered tissue construct.

Cell Viability Analysis for Engineered Tissue using Optical Microscopy

A quality control method for the manufacture of engineered tissue constructs, including EVPOMEs, has been developed by University of Michigan researchers. These methods are non-invasive and thus, can be done on the actual construct to be implanted rather than on a parallel sample. Nonlinear optical microscopy is used to characterize the tissue-engineered constructs with cross-sectional and en-face images. Quantitative analyses of the images were developed to asses the cellular viability of EVPOMEs and other engineered tissue. Testing of these methods has demonstrated the ability to accurately distinguish between non-viable and viable tissue constructs without any damage to the implant.

Applications and Advantages


  • Cell viability assessment of tissue-engineered constructs, including:
    • EVPOMEs
    • Tissue Scaffolds
    • Other engineered tissue constructs


  • Non-invasive
  • Quantitative assessment
  • Accurate results