Near infrared spectroscopy for non-destructive evaluation of articular cartilage

Afara, Isaac Oluwaseun (2012) Near infrared spectroscopy for non-destructive evaluation of articular cartilage. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


There is a need for an accurate real-time quantitative system that would enhance decision-making in the treatment of osteoarthritis. To achieve this objective, significant research is required that will enable articular cartilage properties to be measured and categorized for health and functionality without the need for laboratory tests involving biopsies for pathological evaluation. Such a system would provide the capability of access to the internal condition of the cartilage matrix and thus extend the vision-based arthroscopy that is currently used beyond the subjective evaluation of surgeons. The system required must be able to non-destructively probe the entire thickness of the cartilage and its immediate subchondral bone layer.

In this thesis, near infrared spectroscopy is investigated for the purpose mentioned above. The aim is to relate it to the structure and load bearing properties of the cartilage matrix to the near infrared absorption spectrum and establish functional relationships that will provide objective, quantitative and repeatable categorization of cartilage condition outside the area of visible degradation in a joint. Based on results from traditional mechanical testing, their innovative interpretation and relationship with spectroscopic data, new parameters were developed. These were then evaluated for their consistency in discriminating between healthy viable and degraded cartilage. The mechanical and physico-chemical properties were related to specific regions of the near infrared absorption spectrum that were identified as part of the research conducted for this thesis. The relationships between the tissue's near infrared spectral response and the new parameters were modeled using multivariate statistical techniques based on partial least squares regression (PLSR).

With significantly high levels of statistical correlation, the modeled relationships were demonstrated to possess considerable potential in predicting the properties of unknown tissue samples in a quick and non-destructive manner.

In order to adapt near infrared spectroscopy for clinical applications, a balance between probe diameter and the number of active transmit-receive optic fibres must be optimized. This was achieved in the course of this research, resulting in an optimal probe configuration that could be adapted for joint tissue evaluation. Furthermore, as a proof-of-concept, a protocol for obtaining the new parameters from the near infrared absorption spectra of cartilage was developed and implemented in a graphical user interface (GUI)-based software, and used to assess cartilage-on-bone samples in vitro. This conceptual implementation has been demonstrated, in part by the individual parametric relationship with the near infrared absorption spectrum, the capacity of the proposed system to facilitate real-time, non-destructive evaluation of cartilage matrix integrity.

In summary, the potential of the optical near infrared spectroscopy for evaluating articular cartilage and bone laminate has been demonstrated in this thesis. The approach could have a spin-off for other soft tissues and organs of the body. It builds on the earlier work of the group at QUT, enhancing the near infrared component of the ongoing research on developing a tool for cartilage evaluation that goes beyond visual and subjective methods.

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ID Code: 53217
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Oloyede, Kunle, Crawford, Ross W., Sahama, Tony R., & Tang, Tee
Additional Information: Recipient of 2012 Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award.
Keywords: articular cartilage, near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, non-destructive characterisation, cartilage thickness, resistance to collapse (CR), near-instantaneous rebound strain energy (ER), osmotic reswelling displacement (δr), evaluation protocol, ODTA
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 20 Aug 2012 03:15
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2015 03:45

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