Head of Department, Andrei Zvyagin, PhD

Regenerative medicine has reached outstanding results and is gradually becoming a real

alternative to organ transplantation. It is already possible to partially regenerate fragments of

bones and cartilages, as well as soft tissues and whole organs. This can be achieved by

implantation of cells or tissue engineered constructions composed of cells and scaffolds.

Nevertheless, routine imaging techniques (e.g., X-ray, sonography, MRI, CT) do not allow

clinicians to clearly distinguish grafts from the surrounding tissues because of their similar

physical properties. Therefore, timely diagnosis of such complications as graft migration or rapid

destruction, insufficient or excessive growth of regenerating tissue, and scarring of the area of

the implantation is hardly possible without performing a biopsy. Moreover, there is a lack of

methods of managing the course of the regeneration (e.g., tissue growth volume and rate) and

associated biological reactions (e.g. scaffold lysis, inflammation, and scarring).

Department of Bioimaging aims to be the first institution to solve two following problems of

regenerative medicine: (1) Development of non-invasive diagnostic tools for the post-operative

assessment of an implanted scaffold and surrounding tissues; and (2) introduction of methods of

external control of the course of regeneration and associated biological reactions.

In order to solve these problems, we keep a momentum in the well-established research field of

experimental morphology, which enables analytical assessment of regenerating tissues at the

detailed structural level. This research is hosted at Laboratory of Experimental Morphology,

which was established at Sechenov First MSMU more than 50 years ago and has been recently

integrated into Department of Bioimaging.

At the same time, Laboratory of Experimental Optical Imaging has been established.

Development of novel non-invasive and highly interactive optical imaging techniques to

visualise, manipulate and monitor scaffolds and regenerating tissues represents the main mission

of this laboratory.