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Near Infrared Spectroscopy for Rapid Determination of Mankin Score Components: A Potential Tool for Quantitative Characterization of Articular Cartilage at Surgery

  • Isaac Oluwaseun Afara
    Affiliations
    School of Chemistry, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Indira Prasadam
    Affiliations
    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Hayley Moody
    Affiliations
    School of Chemistry, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Ross Crawford
    Affiliations
    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Yin Xiao
    Affiliations
    School of Chemistry, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Adekunle Oloyede
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Adekunle Oloyede, Ph.D., D.I.C., School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George St, GPO, Box 2434, Brisbane, Australia.
    Affiliations
    School of Chemistry, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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      Purpose

      The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the potential of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for characterizing the health and degenerative state of articular cartilage based on the components of the Mankin score.

      Methods

      Three models of osteoarthritic degeneration induced in laboratory rats by anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) transection, meniscectomy (MSX), and intra-articular injection of monoiodoacetate (1 mg) (MIA) were used in this study. Degeneration was induced in the right knee joint; each model group consisted of 12 rats (N = 36). After 8 weeks, the animals were euthanized and knee joints were collected. A custom-made diffuse reflectance NIR probe of 5-mm diameter was placed on the tibial and femoral surfaces, and spectral data were acquired from each specimen in the wave number range of 4,000 to 12,500 cm−1. After spectral data acquisition, the specimens were fixed and safranin O staining (SOS) was performed to assess disease severity based on the Mankin scoring system. Using multivariate statistical analysis, with spectral preprocessing and wavelength selection technique, the spectral data were then correlated to the structural integrity (SI), cellularity (CEL), and matrix staining (SOS) components of the Mankin score for all the samples tested.

      Results

      ACL models showed mild cartilage degeneration, MSX models had moderate degeneration, and MIA models showed severe cartilage degenerative changes both morphologically and histologically. Our results reveal significant linear correlations between the NIR absorption spectra and SI (R2 = 94.78%), CEL (R2 = 88.03%), and SOS (R2 = 96.39%) parameters of all samples in the models. In addition, clustering of the samples according to their level of degeneration, with respect to the Mankin components, was also observed.

      Conclusions

      NIR spectroscopic probing of articular cartilage can potentially provide critical information about the health of articular cartilage matrix in early and advanced stages of osteoarthritis (OA).

      Clinical Relevance

      This rapid nondestructive method can facilitate clinical appraisal of articular cartilage integrity during arthroscopic surgery.
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