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Title: Non-Destructive Spatial Mapping of Glycosaminoglycan Loss in Native and Degraded Articular Cartilage Using Confocal Raman Microspectroscopy
Articular cartilage is a collagen-rich tissue that provides a smooth, lubricated surface for joints and is also responsible for load bearing during movements. The major components of cartilage are water, collagen, and proteoglycans. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of articular cartilage, in which an early-stage indicator is the loss of proteoglycans from the collagen matrix. In this study, confocal Raman microspectroscopy was applied to study the degradation of articular cartilage, specifically focused on spatially mapping the loss of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Trypsin digestion was used as a model for cartilage degradation. Two different scanning geometries for confocal Raman mapping, cross-sectional and depth scans, were applied. The chondroitin sulfate coefficient maps derived from Raman spectra provide spatial distributions similar to histological staining for glycosaminoglycans. The depth scans, during which subsurface data were collected without sectioning the samples, can also generate spectra and GAG distributions consistent with Raman scans of the surface-to-bone cross sections. In native tissue, both scanning geometries demonstrated higher GAG content at the deeper zone beneath the articular surface and negligible GAG content after trypsin degradation. On partially digested samples, both scanning geometries detected an ∼100 μm layer of GAG depletion. Overall, this research provides a technique with high spatial resolution (25 μm pixel size) to measure cartilage degradation without tissue sections using confocal Raman microspectroscopy, laying a foundation for potential in vivo measurements and osteoarthritis diagnosis.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1719875 1927197
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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