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PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e32344. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032344. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging and multivariate regression for prediction of proteoglycan content of articular cartilage.

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  • 1Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.


Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopic imaging has been earlier applied for the spatial estimation of the collagen and the proteoglycan (PG) contents of articular cartilage (AC). However, earlier studies have been limited to the use of univariate analysis techniques. Current analysis methods lack the needed specificity for collagen and PGs. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the suitability of partial least squares regression (PLSR) and principal component regression (PCR) methods for the analysis of the PG content of AC. Multivariate regression models were compared with earlier used univariate methods and tested with a sample material consisting of healthy and enzymatically degraded steer AC. Chondroitinase ABC enzyme was used to increase the variation in PG content levels as compared to intact AC. Digital densitometric measurements of Safranin O-stained sections provided the reference for PG content. The results showed that multivariate regression models predict PG content of AC significantly better than earlier used absorbance spectrum (i.e. the area of carbohydrate region with or without amide I normalization) or second derivative spectrum univariate parameters. Increased molecular specificity favours the use of multivariate regression models, but they require more knowledge of chemometric analysis and extended laboratory resources for gathering reference data for establishing the models. When true molecular specificity is required, the multivariate models should be used.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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