Technical Briefs

Articular Cartilage Wear Characterization With a Particle Sizing and Counting Analyzer

[+] Author and Article Information
Sevan R. Oungoulian

e-mail: so2271@columbia.edu

Stephany Chang, Orian Bortz, Callen E. Willis

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Columbia University,
New York, NY 10027

Clark T. Hung

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Columbia University,
New York, NY 10027

Gerard A. Ateshian

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Columbia University,
New York, NY 10027

Contributed by the Bioengineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received October 1, 2012; final manuscript received January 14, 2013; accepted manuscript posted January 18, 2013; published online February 7, 2013. Editor: Beth Winkelstein.

J Biomech Eng 135(2), 024501 (Feb 07, 2013) (4 pages) Paper No: BIO-12-1457; doi: 10.1115/1.4023456 History: Received October 01, 2012; Revised January 14, 2013; Accepted January 18, 2013

Quantitative measurements of cartilage wear have been challenging, with no method having yet emerged as a standard. This study tested the hypothesis that latest-generation particle analyzers are capable of detecting cartilage wear debris generated during in vitro loading experiments that last 24 h or less, by producing measurable content significantly above background noise levels otherwise undetectable through standard biochemical assays. Immature bovine cartilage disks (4 mm diameter, 1.3 mm thick) were tested against glass using reciprocal sliding under unconfined compression creep for 24 h. Control groups were used to assess various sources of contamination. Results demonstrated that cartilage samples subjected to frictional loading produced particulate volume significantly higher than background noise and contamination levels at all tested time points (1, 2, 6, and 24 h, p < 0.042). The particle counter was able to detect very small levels of wear (less than 0.02% of the tissue sample by volume), whereas no significant differences were observed in biochemical assays for collagen or glycosaminoglycans among any of the groups or time points. These findings confirm that latest-generation particle analyzers are capable of detecting very low wear levels in cartilage experiments conducted over a period no greater than 24 h.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic for TEST, CTRL, ENVR (cross-sectional views), and BASE (15 ml centrifuge tube) solution configurations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Wear particulate measurements for bovine articular cartilage explants showing significant (*p < 0.05) increases in (a) particulate number and (b) volume when compared to unloaded CTRL, ENVR, and BASE groups at respective time points (n = 9 per group, 1, 2, 6, 24 h). No differences between CTRL, ENVR, or BASE groups were detected [(a) p > 0.97, (b) p > 0.90)].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Wear particulate confocal z stack and angled z stack showing qualitative agreement between observed size distribution and particle analyzer measurements for representative 24 h TEST solution

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) Particulate size and (b) volume distribution for representative 24 h TEST solution showing a high number of micron sized particles



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