Application of Microscopic Methods for the Detection of Cell Attachment to Polymers
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Visualizing and quantifying cellular contact with materials is a critical step in the evaluation of cell-material interaction both in vitro and in vivo. To achieve this, a number of techniques are available. The focus of this chapter is the presentation of staining techniques for use with light microscopes, including transmitted, reflected, fluorescence, or laser-scanning confocal. Other visualization techniques and the potential of techniques such as transmission electron microscopes (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) should not be ignored. But the subject becomes too broad and complex to enable a single protocol to be all-encompassing. However, many of the protocols described can be modified easily for use with TEM and SEM visualization.