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Intra-operative Raman spectroscopy and ex vivo Raman mapping for assessment of cartilage degradation

Gaifulina, R; Nunn, ADG; Draper, ERC; Strachan, RK; Blake, N; Firth, S; Thomas, GMH; ... Dudhia, J; + view all (2021) Intra-operative Raman spectroscopy and ex vivo Raman mapping for assessment of cartilage degradation. Clinical Spectroscopy , 3 , Article 100012. 10.1016/j.clispe.2021.100012. Green open access

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Abstract

The development of a label-free, non-destructive and safe analytical method such as Raman spectroscopy for assessing cartilage degradation is highly desirable. Compared to non-optical imaging modalities, Raman mapping offers a more sensitive means of directly assessing the chemical composition of cartilage in three-dimensional space and the potential to monitor cartilage degeneration to inform intervention and treatment strategies. Herein, we report the application of Raman spectroscopic methods ex vivo and at arthroscopy to identify molecular alterations in cartilage specimens containing minor focal lesions characteristic of the early disease phase. Our initial ex vivo analysis, obtained by single-point Raman spectroscopy of cartilage samples, supports previous findings based on S-O stretching vibration bands associated with sulphated glycosaminoglycans (sGAGs). We extended the analyses to the high-wavenumber region where we observed that vibrational bands assigned to C-H and O-H stretching modes discriminated early cartilage alterations from healthy cartilage samples. Furthermore, we performed a proof-of-concept in-clinic study using a custom-built optical probe to acquire Raman spectral measurements for the first time in patients undergoing arthroscopy of knee joints. Spectra were obtained with adequate signal-to-noise ratios that similarly discriminated between lesion and adjacent cartilage sites and identified reductions in sGAGs in apparently healthy cartilage. Building on this, we present initial results from Raman mapping to spatially resolve the molecular constituents of cartilage through its depth and across a lesion. Mapping revealed a non-uniform and reduced sGAG distribution within the lesion and peripheral cartilage that was otherwise visually normal, similar to the in-clinic observations, showing that the degradative influence of the lesion extended beyond its border. This was accompanied by a decreased fluorescence signal intensity, which suggests that fluorescence may provide valuable information as an adjunct to the Raman signal in discriminating normal and degenerating cartilage. This work demonstrates the value of Raman mapping over single-point Raman measurements for the analysis of the anisotropy of articular cartilage and highlights the potential of the technology for in vivo articular joint arthroscopy applications.

Type: Article
Title: Intra-operative Raman spectroscopy and ex vivo Raman mapping for assessment of cartilage degradation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.clispe.2021.100012
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clispe.2021.100012
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Articular cartilage, Osteoarthritis, Raman spectroscopy, Raman mapping, Arthroscopy, Glycosaminoglycans
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129775
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