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Bone. 2019 Jul 3. pii: S8756-3282(19)30275-3. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2019.07.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of scaling on microstructural features of the osteochondral unit: A comparative analysis of 38 mammalian species.

Author information

1
Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Regenerative Medicine Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
2
Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
3
Regenerative Medicine Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Department of Orthopedics, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Department of Biomechanical Engineering, TU Delft, the Netherlands.
4
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
5
Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
6
Regenerative Medicine Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Department of Orthopedics, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
7
Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
8
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
9
Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Regenerative Medicine Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Department of Orthopedics, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Electronic address: j.malda@uu.nl.

Abstract

Since Galileo's days the effect of size on the anatomical characteristics of the structural elements of the body has been a subject of interest. However, the effects of scaling at tissue level have received little interest and virtually no data exist on the subject with respect to the osteochondral unit in the joint, despite this being one of the most lesion-prone and clinically relevant parts of the musculoskeletal system. Imaging techniques, including FTIR imaging, polarized light microscopy and micro computed tomography, were combined to study the response to increasing body mass of the osteochondral unit. We analyzed the effect of scaling on structural characteristics of articular cartilage, subchondral plate and the supporting trabecular bone, across a wide range of mammals at microscopic level. We demonstrated that, while total cartilage thickness scales to body mass in a negative allometric fashion, thickness of different cartilage layers did not. Cartilage tissue layers were found to adapt to increasing loads principally in the deep zone with the superficial layers becoming relatively thinner. While subchondral plate thickness was found to have no correlation to body mass, bone volume fraction correlated negatively to body mass (r = -0.41, p < 0.01). This implies that heavier animals will have a relatively more porous subchondral plate; possibly to allow a more homogeneous transmission of forces from the subchondral bone towards the thicker cartilage layer. The underlying trabecular bone was found to have thicker trabeculae (r = 0.59, p < 0.001), as expected since this structure carries most loads and plays a role in force mitigation.

KEYWORDS:

Bone imaging; Cartilage imaging; Cartilage thickness scaling; Osteochondral comparative analysis; Osteochondral unit; Trabecular bone scaling

PMID:
31279095
DOI:
10.1016/j.bone.2019.07.001

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