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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Nondestructive imaging of fiber structure in articular cartilage using optical polarization tractography
Author(s): Xuan Yao; Yuanbo Wang; Mohammadreza Ravanfar; Ferris M. Pfeiffer; Dongsheng Duan; Gang Yao
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Paper Abstract

Collagen fiber orientation plays an important role in determining the structure and function of the articular cartilage. However, there is currently a lack of nondestructive means to image the fiber orientation from the cartilage surface. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the newly developed optical polarization tractography (OPT) can image fiber structure in articular cartilage. OPT was applied to obtain the depth-dependent fiber orientation in fresh articular cartilage samples obtained from porcine phalanges. For comparison, we also obtained collagen fiber orientation in the superficial zone of the cartilage using the established split-line method. The direction of each split-line was quantified using image processing. The orientation measured in OPT agreed well with those obtained from the split-line method. The correlation analysis of a total of 112 split-lines showed a greater than 0.9 coefficient of determination (R2) between the split-line results and OPT measurements obtained between 40 and 108  μm in depth. In addition, the thickness of the superficial layer can also be assessed from the birefringence images obtained in OPT. These results support that OPT provides a nondestructive way to image the collagen fiber structure in articular cartilage. This technology may be valuable for both basic cartilage research and clinical orthopedic applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 November 2016
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 21(11) 116004 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.21.11.116004
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 21, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
Xuan Yao, Univ. of Missouri (United States)
Yuanbo Wang, Univ. of Missouri (United States)
Mohammadreza Ravanfar, Univ. of Missouri (United States)
Ferris M. Pfeiffer, Univ. of Missouri (United States)
Dongsheng Duan, Univ. of Missouri (United States)
Gang Yao, Univ. of Missouri (United States)

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