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Formalin fixation affects equilibrium partitioning of an ionic contrast agent-microcomputed tomography (EPIC-[mu]CT) imaging of osteochondral samples

Benders, K., Malda, J., Saris, D., Dhert, W., Steck, R., Hutmacher, D., & Klein, T. (2010) Formalin fixation affects equilibrium partitioning of an ionic contrast agent-microcomputed tomography (EPIC-[mu]CT) imaging of osteochondral samples. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 18(12), pp. 1586-1591.

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Abstract

Equilibrium Partitioning of an Ionic Contrast agent with microcomputed tomography (EPIC-[mu]CT) is a non-invasive technique to quantify and visualize the three-dimensional distribution of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in fresh cartilage tissue. However, it is unclear whether this technique is applicable to already fixed tissues. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating whether formalin fixation of bovine cartilage affects X-ray attenuation, and thus the interpretation of EPIC-[mu]CT data.Design Osteochondral samples (n = 24) were incubated with ioxaglate, an ionic contrast agent, for 22 h prior to [mu]CT scanning. The samples were scanned in both formalin-fixed and fresh conditions. GAG content was measured using a biochemical assay and normalized to wet weight, dry weight, and water content to determine potential reasons for differences in X-ray attenuation.Results The expected zonal distribution of contrast agent/GAGs was observed for both fixed and fresh cartilage specimens. However, despite no significant differences in GAG concentrations or physical properties between fixed and fresh samples, the average attenuation levels of formalin-fixed cartilage were 14.3% lower than in fresh samples.Conclusions EPIC-[mu]CT is useful for three-dimensional visualization of GAGs in formalin-fixed cartilage. However, a significant reduction in X-ray attenuation for fixed (compared to fresh) cartilage must be taken into account and adjusted for accordingly when quantifying GAG concentrations using EPIC-[mu]CT.

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6 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 39283
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: EPIC-[mu]CT, Cartilage, Glycosaminoglycans, Formalin fixation
DOI: 10.1016/j.joca.2010.10.005
ISSN: 1063-4584
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Orthopaedics (110314)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 21 Dec 2010 11:40
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:24

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