Effects of Articular Cartilage Constituents on Phosphotungstic Acid Enhanced Micro-Computed Tomography
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CitationKarhula Sakari S. Finnilä Mikko A. Lammi Mikko J. Ylärinne Janne H. Kauppinen Sami. Rieppo Lassi. Pritzker Kenneth P H. Nieminen Heikki J. Saarakkala Simo. (2017). Effects of Articular Cartilage Constituents on Phosphotungstic Acid Enhanced Micro-Computed Tomography. PLOS ONE, 12 (1) , e0171075. 10.1371/journal.pone.0171075.
Contrast-enhanced micro-computed tomography (CEμCT) with phosphotungstic acid (PTA) has shown potential for detecting collagen distribution of articular cartilage. However, the selectivity of the PTA staining to articular cartilage constituents remains to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the dependence of PTA for the collagen content in bovine articular cartilage. Adjacent bovine articular cartilage samples were treated with chondroitinase ABC and collagenase to degrade the proteoglycan and the collagen constituents in articular cartilage, respectively. Enzymatically degraded samples were compared to the untreated samples using CEμCT and reference methods, such as Fourier-transform infrared imaging. Decrease in the X-ray attenuation of PTA in articular cartilage and collagen content was observed in cartilage depth of 0–13% and deeper in tissue after collagen degradation. Increase in the X-ray attenuation of PTA was observed in the cartilage depth of 13–39% after proteoglycan degradation. The X-ray attenuation of PTA-labelled articular cartilage in CEμCT is associated mainly with collagen content but the proteoglycans have a minor effect on the X-ray attenuation of the PTA-labelled articular cartilage. In conclusion, the PTA labeling provides a feasible CEμCT method for 3D characterization of articular cartilage.