Academic article

Optical investigation of osteoarthritic human cartilage (ICRS grade) by confocal Raman spectroscopy: a pilot study

Kumar, Rajesh; Grønhaug, Kirsten Marie; Afseth, Nils Kristian; Isaksen, vidar; Davies, Catharina de Lange; Drogset, Jon Olav; Lilledahl, Magnus Borstad

Publication details

Journal: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, vol. 407, p. 8067–8077, 2015

Publisher: Springer

Issue: 26

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 1618-2642
Electronic: 1618-2650

Open Access: green


Biomolecular changes in the cartilage matrix during
the early stage of osteoarthritis may be detected by Raman
spectroscopy. The objective of this investigation was to determine vibrational spectral differences among different grades (grades I, II, and III) of osteoarthritis in human osteoarthritic cartilage, which was classified according to the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) grading system. Degenerative articular cartilage samples were collected during total joint replacement surgery and were classified according to the ICRS grading system for osteoarthritis. Twelve cartilage sections (4 sections of each ICRS grades I, II, and III) were selected for Raman spectroscopic analysis. Safranin-O/Fast green was used for histological staining and assignment of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI)grade. Multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) was used for data analysis. Spectral analysis indicates that the content
of disordered coil collagen increases significantly during
the early progression of osteoarthritis. However, the increase was not statistically significant during later stages of the disease. A decrease in the content of proteoglycan was observed only during advanced stages of osteoarthritis. Our investigation shows that Raman spectroscopy can classify the different stage of osteoarthritic cartilage and can provide details on
biochemical changes. This proof-of-concept study encourages
further investigation of fresh cartilage on a larger population using fiber-based miniaturized Raman probe for the Development of in vivo Raman arthroscopy as a potential diagnostic tool for osteoarthritis.