University of Oulu

Shuvashis Das Gupta, Mikko A.J. Finnilä, Sakari S. Karhula, Sami Kauppinen, Antti Joukainen, Heikki Kröger, Rami K. Korhonen, Ashvin Thambyah, Lassi Rieppo, Simo Saarakkala, Raman microspectroscopic analysis of the tissue-specific composition of the human osteochondral junction in osteoarthritis: A pilot study, Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 106, 2020, Pages 145-155, ISSN 1742-7061,

Raman microspectroscopic analysis of the tissue-specific composition of the human osteochondral junction in osteoarthritis : a pilot study

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Author: Das Gupta, Shuvashis1; Finnilä, Mikko A.J.1; Karhula, Sakari S.1,2;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Orthopaedics, Traumatology and Hand Surgery, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
4Kuopio Musculoskeletal Research Unit (KMRU), University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
5Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
6Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-05-18


This study investigates the influence of osteoarthritis (OA) disease severity on the bio-composition of the osteochondral junction at the human tibial plateau using Raman microspectroscopy. We specifically aim to analyze the spatial composition of mineralized osteochondral tissues, i.e., calcified cartilage (CC) and subchondral bone plate (SBP) from unfixed, hydrated specimens. We hypothesize that the mineralization of CC and SBP decreases in advanced OA. Twenty-eight cylindrical osteochondral samples (d = 4 mm) from tibial plateaus of seven cadaveric donors were harvested and sorted into three groups following histopathological grading: healthy (n = 5), early OA (n = 8), and advanced OA (n = 15). Raman spectra were subjected to multivariate cluster analyses to identify different tissues. Finally, the tissue-specific composition was analyzed, and the impact of OA was statistically evaluated with linear mixed models. Cluster analyses of Raman spectra successfully distinguished CC and SBP as well as a tidemark region and uncalcified cartilage. CC was found to be more mineralized and the mineral was more crystalline compared with SBP. Both tissues exhibited similar compositional changes as a function of histopathological OA severity. In early OA, the mineralization tends to increase, and the mineral contains fewer carbonate substitutions. Compared with early OA, mineral crystals are rich in carbonate while the overall mineralization decreases in advanced OA. This Raman spectroscopic study advances the methodology for investigating the complex osteochondral junction from native tissue. The developed methodology can be used to elucidate detailed tissue-specific changes in the chemical composition with advancing OA.

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Series: Acta biomaterialia
ISSN: 1742-7061
ISSN-E: 1878-7568
ISSN-L: 1742-7061
Volume: 106
Pages: 145 - 155
DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2020.02.020
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
318 Medical biotechnology
Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 713645.
EU Grant Number: (713645) BioMEP - Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
Copyright information: © 2020 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license. ( )