Near Infrared Spectroscopic Evaluation of Ligament and Tendon Biomechanical Properties
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CitationTorniainen, J. Ristaniemi, A. Sarin, JK. Mikkonen, S. Afara, IO. Stenroth, L. Korhonen, RK. Töyräs, J. (2018). Near Infrared Spectroscopic Evaluation of Ligament and Tendon Biomechanical Properties. ANNALS OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, 47 (1) , 213–222. 10.1007/s10439-018-02125-9.
Knee ligaments and tendons are collagen-rich viscoelastic connective tissues that provide vital mechanical stabilization and support to the knee joint. Deterioration of ligaments has an adverse effect on the health of the knee and can eventually lead to ligament rupture and osteoarthritis. In this study, the feasibility of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was, for the first time, tested for evaluation of ligament and tendon mechanical properties by performing measurements on bovine stifle joint ligament (N = 40) and patellar tendon (N = 10) samples. The mechanical properties of the samples were determined using a uniaxial tensile testing protocol. Partial least squares regression models were then developed to determine if morphological, viscoelastic, and quasi-static properties of the samples could be predicted from the NIR spectra. Best performance of NIRS in predicting mechanical properties was observed for toughness at yield point (median Q2CV=0.54, median normalized RMSECV=6.1%), toughness at failure point (median Q2CV=0.53, median normalized RMSECV=6.6%), and the ultimate strength of the ligament/tendon (median Q2CV=0.52, median normalized RMSECV=8.3%). Thus, we show that NIRS is capable of estimating ligament and tendon biomechanical properties, especially in parameters related to tissue failure. We believe this method could substantially enhance the currently limited arthroscopic evaluation of ligaments and tendons.