University of Oulu

V. Virtanen, V. Tafintseva, R. Shaikh, E. Nippolainen, J. Haas, I.O. Afara, J. Töyräs, H. Kröger, J. Solheim, B. Zimmermann, A. Kohler, B. Mizaikoff, M. Finnilä, L. Rieppo, S. Saarakkala, Infrared spectroscopy is suitable for objective assessment of articular cartilage health, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage Open, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2022, 100250, ISSN 2665-9131,

Infrared spectroscopy is suitable for objective assessment of articular cartilage health

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Author: Virtanen, V.1; Tafintseva, V.2; Shaikh, R.3;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Science and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway
3Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Kuopio, Finland
4Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany
5Hahn-Schickard, Ulm, Germany
6School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
7Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
8Department of Orthopedics, Traumatology and Hand Surgery, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
9Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-29


Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of Fourier transform infrared attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy to detect cartilage degradation due to osteoarthritis and to validate the methodology with osteochondral human cartilage samples for future development towards clinical use.

Design: Cylindrical (d ​= ​4 ​mm) osteochondral samples (n ​= ​349) were prepared from nine human cadavers and measured with FTIR-ATR spectroscopy. Afterwards, the samples were assessed with Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) osteoarthritis cartilage histopathology assessment system and divided into two groups: 1) healthy (OARSI 0–2) and 2) osteoarthritic (OARSI 2.5–6). The classification was done with partial least squares discriminant analysis model utilizing cross-model validation. Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis was performed and the area under curve (AUC) was calculated.

Results: For all samples combined, classification accuracy was 73% with AUC of 0.79. Femoral samples had accuracy of 74% and AUC of 0.77, while tibial samples had accuracy of 66%, and AUC of 0.74. Patellar samples had accuracy of 84% and AUC of 0.91.

Conclusions: The results indicate that FTIR-ATR spectroscopy can differentiate between healthy and osteoarthritic femoral, tibial and patellar human tissue. If combined with a fiber optic probe, FTIR-ATR spectroscopy could provide additional objective intraoperative information during arthroscopic surgeries, which could improve clinical outcomes.

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Series: Osteoarthritis and cartilage open
ISSN: 2665-9131
ISSN-E: 2665-9131
ISSN-L: 2665-9131
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Article number: 100250
DOI: 10.1016/j.ocarto.2022.100250
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Funding: This work was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (H2020-ICT-2016-2017) project MIRACLE (grant agreement number 780598), and the Academy of Finland (project numbers 310466 and 315820).
EU Grant Number: (780598) MIRACLE - Mid-infrared arthroscopy innovative imaging system for real-time clinical in depth examination and diagnosis of degenerative joint diseases
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 310466
Detailed Information: 310466 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (