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Visualising the 3D microstructure of stained and native intervertebral discs using X-ray microtomography

Disney, CM; Madi, K; Bodey, AJ; Lee, PD; Hoyland, JA; Sherratt, MJ; (2017) Visualising the 3D microstructure of stained and native intervertebral discs using X-ray microtomography. Scientific Reports , 7 , Article 16279. 10.1038/s41598-017-16354-w. Green open access

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Abstract

Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is linked to low back pain. Microstructural changes during degeneration have previously been imaged using 2D sectioning techniques and 3D methods which are limited to small specimens and prone to inducing artefacts from sample preparation. This study explores micro computed X-ray tomography (microCT) methods with the aim of resolving IVD 3D microstructure whilst minimising sample preparation artefacts. Low X-ray absorption contrast in non-mineralised tissue can be enhanced using staining and phase contrast techniques. A step-wise approach, including comparing three stains, was used to develop microCT for bovine tail IVD using laboratory and synchrotron sources. Staining successfully contrasted collagenous structures; however not all regions were stained and the procedure induced macroscopic structural changes. Phase contrast microCT of chemically fixed yet unstained samples resolved the nucleus pulposus, annulus fibrosus and constituent lamellae, and finer structures including collagen bundles and cross-bridges. Using the same imaging methods native tissue scans were of slightly lower contrast but free from sample processing artefacts. In the future these methods may be used to characterise structural remodelling in soft (non-calcified) tissues and to conduct in situ studies of native loaded tissues and constructs to characterise their 3D mechanical properties.

Type: Article
Title: Visualising the 3D microstructure of stained and native intervertebral discs using X-ray microtomography
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-16354-w
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-16354-w
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2017. Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Te images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049161
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