In vivo characterization of biomineralization
While these techniques provide a wealth of information about biomaterials, often both in vitro and in vivo techniques are employed to better understand the changes biomaterials undergo in different environments (Mehrban et al., 2013). In vivo experiments are further complicated by the lack of control of the surrounding environment. Implanted biomaterials may be affected by changes in pH, temperature, mechanical stresses (Ananth et al., 2015), proteins deposited by the surrounding cells (Mehrban et al., 2013), and enzymes (Zelzer et al., 2013). The immune response of the host organism when a foreign body is implanted is also a factor for consideration (Major et al., 2015). Furthermore, reducing the need for repeated surgery and patient discomfort and increasing safety are priorities in selecting appropriate analysis techniques. Advances in technology have greatly expanded the number of techniques that now meet these requirements. An overview of these techniques, although not an exhaustive list, has been provided. Once again, the techniques are presented in order of increasing spatial resolution.