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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 5, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. We present a new framework to understand how changes to the microstructure of cartilage lead to a mechanical phase transition.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 11, 2023
  4. 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 andmore »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 28, 2022
  5. Abstract Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) diseases such as osteoarthritis and disc displacement have no permanent treatment options, but lubrication therapies, used in other joints, could be an effective alternative. However, the healthy TMJ contains fibrocartilage, not hyaline cartilage as is found in other joints. As such, the effect of lubrication therapies in the TMJ is unknown. Additionally, only a few studies have characterized the friction coefficient of the healthy TMJ. Like other cartilaginous tissues, the mandibular condyles and discs are subject to changes in friction coefficient due to fluid pressurization. In addition, the friction coefficients of the inferior joint space ofmore »the TMJ are affected by the sliding direction and anatomic location. However, these previous findings have not been able to identify how all three of these parameters (anatomic location, sliding direction, and fluid pressurization) influence changes in friction coefficient. This study used Stribeck curves to identify differences in the friction coefficients of mandibular condyles and discs based on anatomic location, sliding direction, and amount of fluid pressurization (friction mode). Friction coefficients were measured using a cartilage on glass tribometer. Both mandibular condyle and disc friction coefficients were well described by Stribeck curves (R2 range 0.87–0.97; p < 0.0001). These curves changed based on anatomic location (Δμ ∼ 0.05), but very few differences in friction coefficients were observed based on sliding direction. Mandibular condyles had similar boundary mode and elastoviscous mode friction coefficients to the TMJ disc (μmin ∼ 0.009 to 0.19) and both were lower than hyaline cartilage in other joints (e.g., knee, ankle, etc.). The observed differences here indicate that the surface characteristics of each anatomic region cause differences in friction coefficients.« less