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Cell Tissue Bank. 2008 Dec;9(4):299-307. doi: 10.1007/s10561-008-9070-7. Epub 2008 Apr 23.

Quantitative second harmonic generation imaging of cartilage damage.

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Cell & Tissue Systems, Inc., 2231 Technical Parkway, Suite A, North Charleston, SC 29406, USA.


Cartilage damage was studied using non-invasive multiphoton-excited autofluorescence and quantitative second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy. Two cryopreservation techniques based upon freezing and vitrification methods, respectively, were employed to determine whether or not the collagen fiber structure of full thickness porcine articular cartilage was affected by cryopreservation and whether the level of collagen damage could be determined quantitatively in non-processed (non-fixed, non-sliced, non-stained) tissues. Multiphoton-induced autofluorescence imaging revealed the presence of chondrocytes, as well as collagenous structures in all fresh, vitrified and frozen cryopreserved cartilage samples. SHG imaging of the frozen cryopreserved specimens showed a dramatic loss of mean gray value intensities when compared to both fresh and vitrified tissues (P<0.05), indicating structural changes of the extracellular matrix, in particular the deformation and destruction of the collagen fibers in the analyzed articular cartilage. A 0.9974 correlation coefficient was observed between the metabolic cell activity assessed by the alamarBlue technique, and retention of collagen structure between the three experimental groups. These studies suggest that multiphoton-induced autofluorescence imaging combined with quantitative SHG signal profiling may prove to be useful tools for the investigation of extracellular matrix changes in preserved cartilage, giving insights on the structural quality prior to implantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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