University of Oulu

Ojanen, S.P., Finnilä, M.A.J., Herzog, W. et al. Micro-computed Tomography-Based Collagen Orientation and Anisotropy Analysis of Rabbit Articular Cartilage. Ann Biomed Eng 51, 1769–1780 (2023).

Micro-computed tomography-based collagen orientation and anisotropy analysis of rabbit articular cartilage

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Author: Ojanen, Simo P.1,2; Finnilä, Mikko A. J.1,2; Herzog, Walter3;
Organizations: 1Department of Technical Physics, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, 70210, Kuopio, Finland
2Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
4Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-25


The collagen network is the highly organized backbone of articular cartilage providing tissue tensile stiffness and restricting proteoglycan bleaching out of the tissue. Osteoarthritis (OA) diminishes proper collagen network adaptation. Our aim was to provide quantitative three-dimensional (3D) information of the cartilage collagen network adaptation in early osteoarthritis using high resolution micro-computed tomography (µCT)-imaging. Osteochondral samples from the femoral condyles were collected from healthy (N = 8, both legs) and experimental OA rabbit model with anterior cruciate ligament transection (N = 14, single leg). Samples were processed for cartilage µCT-imaging and histological evaluation with polarized light microscopy (PLM). Structure tensor analysis was used to analyse the collagen fibre orientation and anisotropy of the µCT-images, and PLM was used as a validation for structural changes. Depth-wise comparison of collagen fibre orientation acquired with µCT-imaging and PLM correlated well, but the values obtained with PLM were systematically greater than those measured with µCT-imaging. Structure tensor analysis allowed for 3D quantification of collagen network anisotropy. Finally, µCT-imaging revealed only minor differences between the control and experimental groups.

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Series: Annals of biomedical engineering
ISSN: 0090-6964
ISSN-E: 1573-9686
ISSN-L: 0090-6964
Volume: 51
Issue: 8
Pages: 1769 - 1780
DOI: 10.1007/s10439-023-03183-4
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 217 Medical engineering
Funding: This work was supported by the following funding sources: Saastamoinen Foundation, Päivikki ja Sakari Sohlberg Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation North Savo Regional Fund (Grant No. 65171624), Finnish Cultural Foundation (Grant No. 00180796), Emil Aaltonen Foundation, The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), The Canada Research Chair Programme, The Killam Foundation, The Nigg Chair at the University of Calgary, The Arthritis Society—Canada, Academy of Finland (Grant Nos. 268378 and 303786, 324529), Sigrid Juselius Foundation, European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement No. 336267.
EU Grant Number: (336267) 3D-OA-HISTO - Development of 3D Histopathological Grading of Osteoarthritis
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 268378
Detailed Information: 268378 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
303786 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
324529 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
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