Non-destructive evaluation of articular cartilage defects using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy in osteoarthritic rat models and its direct relation to Mankin Score

Afara, Isaac O., Prasadam, Indira, Crawford, Ross W., Xiao, Yin, & Oloyede, Adekunle (2012) Non-destructive evaluation of articular cartilage defects using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy in osteoarthritic rat models and its direct relation to Mankin Score. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 20(11), pp. 1367-1373.

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The aim of this study was to demonstrate the potential of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for categorizing cartilage degeneration induced in animal models.


Three models of osteoarthritic degeneration were induced in laboratory rats via one of the following methods: (i) menisectomy (MSX); (ii) anterior cruciate ligament transaction (ACLT); and (iii) intra-articular injection of mono-ido-acetete (1 mg) (MIA), in the right knee joint, with 12 rats per model group. After 8 weeks, the animals were sacrificed and tibial knee joints were collected. A custom-made nearinfrared (NIR) probe of diameter 5 mm was placed on the cartilage surface and spectral data were acquired from each specimen in the wavenumber range 4 000 – 12 500 cm−1. Following spectral data acquisition, the specimens were fixed and Safranin–O staining was performed to assess disease severity based on the Mankin scoring system. Using multivariate statistical analysis based on principal component analysis and partial least squares regression, the spectral data were then related to the Mankinscores of the samples tested.


Mild to severe degenerative cartilage changes were observed in the subject animals. The ACLT models showed mild cartilage degeneration, MSX models moderate, and MIA severe cartilage degenerative changes both morphologically and histologically. Our result demonstrate that NIR spectroscopic information is capable of separating the cartilage samples into different groups relative to the severity of degeneration, with NIR correlating significantly with their Mankinscore (R2 = 88.85%).


We conclude that NIR is a viable tool for evaluating articularcartilage health and physical properties such as change in thickness with degeneration.

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31 citations in Scopus
32 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 51633
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Articular cartilage, near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, osteoarthritis, non-destructive evaluation, Mankin score
DOI: 10.1016/j.joca.2012.07.007
ISSN: 1522-9653
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: “NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, VOL 20, ISSUE 11, (2012). DOI 10.1016/j.joca.2012.07.007.
Deposited On: 26 Jul 2012 02:32
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2013 13:32

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