An exploratory study of the potential of resurfacing articular cartilage with synthetic phospholipids

Yusuf, Kehinde Quasim (2013) An exploratory study of the potential of resurfacing articular cartilage with synthetic phospholipids. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis is aimed at further understanding the uppermost lipid-filled membranous layer (i.e. surface amorphous layer (SAL)) of articular cartilage and to develop a scientific framework for re-introducing lipids onto the surface of lipid-depleted articular cartilage (i.e. "resurfacing"). The outcome will potentially contribute to knowledge that will facilitate the repair of the articular surface of cartilage where degradation is limited to the loss of the lipids of the SAL only. The surface amorphous layer is of utmost importance to the effective load-spreading, lubrication, and semipermeability (which controls its fluid management, nutrient transport and waste removal) of articular cartilage in the mammalian joints. However, because this uppermost layer of cartilage is often in contact during physiological function, it is prone to wear and tear, and thus, is the site for damage initiation that can lead to the early stages of joint condition like osteoarthritis, and related conditions that cause pain and discomfort leading to low quality of life in patients. It is therefore imperative to conduct a study which offers insight into remedying this problem.

It is hypothesized that restoration (resurfacing) of the surface amorphous layer can be achieved by re-introducing synthetic surface-active phospholipids (SAPL) into the joint space. This hypothesis was tested in this thesis by exposing cartilage samples whose surface lipids had been depleted to individual and mixtures of synthetic saturated and unsaturated phospholipids. The surfaces of normal, delipidized, and relipidized samples of cartilage were characterized for their structural integrity and functionality using atomic force microscope (AFM), confocal microscope (COFM), Raman spectroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with image processing in the MATLAB® environment and mechanical loading experiments. The results from AFM imaging, confocal microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy revealed a successful deposition of new surface layer on delipidized cartilage when incubated in synthetic phospholipids. The relipidization resulted in a significant improvement in the surface nanostructure of the artificially degraded cartilage, with the complete SAPL mixture providing better outcomes in comparison to those created with the single SAPL components (palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine, POPC and dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine, DPPC).

MRI analysis revealed that the surface created with the complete mixture of synthetic lipids was capable of providing semipermeability to the surface layer of the treated cartilage samples relative to the normal intact surface. Furthermore, deformation energy analysis revealed that the treated samples were capable of delivering the elastic properties required for load bearing and recovery of the tissue relative to the normal intact samples, with this capability closer between the normal and the samples incubated in the complete lipid mixture.

In conclusion, this thesis has established that it is possible to deposit/create a potentially viable layer on the surface of cartilage following degradation/lipid loss through incubation in synthetic lipid solutions. However, further studies will be required to advance the ideas developed in this thesis, for the development of synthetic lipid-based injections/drugs for treatment of osteoarthritis and other related joint conditions.

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ID Code: 63317
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Oloyede, Kunle, Crawford, Ross W., & Motta, Nunzio
Keywords: apparent diffusion coefficient, articular cartilage, atomic force microscopy, complementary energy, confocal microscopy, delipidization, Fick’s law of diffusion, magnetic resonance imaging, mechanical compression tests, nanosurface characterization, osteoarthritis, relipidization, residual energy, resurfacing cartilage, semipermeability, strain energy, surface-active phospholipids, surface amorphous layer
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 14 Oct 2013 02:40
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2015 06:59

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