Osteoarthritis Assessment to Go Hi-Tech

Researchers have actually reported a sophisticated brand-new imaging method that permits the condition of joint cartilage to be taken a look at—best down to a molecular level. The method has prospective for diagnostics and treatment-planning of cartilage illness and disability, consisting of for osteoarthritis.

“Damage and degradation of cartilage around joints leads to severe pain and loss of mobility,” states Dr Saabah Mahbub, Research Study Fellow at the ARC Centre of Quality for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) and lead author of the released research study.

“We need a tool to help us to determine objectively, the degree of problem that the joint cartilage is exhibiting. We then need a way to be able to monitor the effectiveness of any cartilage regeneration therapies that are able to be undertaken,” he states.

“Ideally we need to be able to do this monitoring at a molecular level and in a minimally invasive way.”

An innovative method described hyperspectral imaging was utilized by Dr Mahbub to accomplish this. This integrated the power of a sophisticated optical microscopic lense together with high powered information analysis, to procedure and image the electro-magnetic light-waves being emitted by the cartilage tissue and cartilage cells called chondrocytes.

“In this study, we applied our advanced hyperspectral microscopy to osteoarthritic human cartilage—to investigate its capacity to generate molecular data and to help us characterise the cartilage diseasestate, as well as to examine potential treatment effects,” he states.

“Using this approach, we were able to identify types and amounts of collagen (collagen I and collagen II) in the cartilage tissue as well as to test for the specific co-enzymes FAD and NADH in the chondrocytes.”

In a development for Dr Mahbub, the hyperspectral-based research study was likewise efficient in identifying results associated to cartilage treatments (in this case making use of secretions from stem cells). This was shown by hyperspectral images showing modifications in the structure of the cartilage – ratios of collagen I to collagen II – when comparing pre and post cartilage treatment activity.”

“We believe that levels of collagen I, collagen II and associated proteins may be sensitive to improvements in cartilage health and could be used to monitor patient progression and to discern between effects of different osteoarthritis therapies,” states Dr Mahbub.

It is imagined that, in the future, this brand-new imaging method will be offered to clients in a medical setting where it would be released endoscopically through little cuts in targeted locations of the body.

Next actions for Dr Mahbub and the research study group are to even more examine the molecular foundations of the development of cartilage degeneration along with regrowth.

This research study was reported in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’ with researchers connected with CNBP, Macquarie University, UNSW Sydney, Quantitative Pty Ltd and Regeneus Pty Ltd. Dr Saabah Mahbub was a CNBP Research study Fellow based at Macquarie University when the research study was carried out.

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