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Real-time maps of fluid flow fields in porous biomaterials.

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Mechanical forces such as fluid shear have been shown to enhance cell growth and differentiation, but knowledge of their mechanistic effect on cells is limited because the local flow patterns and associated metrics are not precisely known. Here we present real-time, non-invasive measures of local hydrodynamics in 3D biomaterials based on nuclear magnetic resonance. Microflow maps were further used to derive pressure, shear and fluid permeability fields. Finally, remodeling of collagen gels in response to precise fluid flow parameters was correlated with structural changes. It is anticipated that accurate flow maps within 3D matrices will be a critical step towards understanding cell behavior in response to controlled flow dynamics.

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