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J Biomed Opt. 2005 Jan-Feb;10(1):14015.

Fourier transform infrared imaging spectroscopy analysis of collagenase-induced cartilage degradation.

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  • 1Hospital for Special Surgery, Research Division, 535 East 70th Street, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Collagenase treatment of cartilage serves as an in vitro model of the pathological collagen degradation that occurs in the disease osteoarthritis (OA). Fourier transform infrared imaging spectroscopic (FT-IRIS) analysis of collagenase-treated cartilage is performed to elucidate the molecular origin of the spectral changes previously found at the articular surface of human OA cartilage. Bovine cartilage explants are treated with 0.1% collagenase for 0, 15, or 30 min. In situ collagen cleavage is assessed using immunofluorescent staining with an antibody specific for broken type II collagen. The FT-IRIS analysis of the control and treated specimens mirrors the differences previously found between normal and OA cartilage using an infrared fiber optic probe (IFOP). With collagenase treatment, the amide II/1338 cm(-1) area ratio increases while the 1238 cm(-1)/1227 cm(-1) peak ratio decreases. In addition, polarized FT-IRIS demonstrates a more random orientation of the collagen fibrils that correlate spatially with the immunofluorescent-determined regions of broken type II collagen. We can therefore conclude that the spectral changes observed in the collagenase-treated cartilage, and similarly in OA cartilage, arise from changes in collagen structure. These findings support the use of mid-infrared spectral analysis, in particular the minimally invasive IFOP, as potential techniques for the diagnosis and management of degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Copyright 2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

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