Strain measurement in osteoarthritic cartilage

  • Tozzi, Gianluca (PI)

Project Details


The aim of the project is to measure 3D full-field strain patterns within cartilage, subchondral and trabecular bone in both healthy joints and those with early osteoarthritis (OA) in order to answer the overarching research question: How do changes to subchondral-trabecular bone and calcified cartilage in early OA affect the strain distribution and how do these changes relate to pathology? The aim of the study will be achieved by combining high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (XCT), in situ mechanical testing and digital volume correlation (DVC) in specimens with various degrees of OA from animal models
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent and disabling chronic degenerative diseases with a 7-fold increase in its incidence predicted by 20301. Despite years of research, understanding the aetiology and pathogenesis of OA remains incomplete and treatments have been largely unsuccessful2. It has been speculated that the osteoarthritic process may be initiated by an increase in the thickness, volume and stiffness in the subchondral bone3 with the hypothesis that changes to the architecture of calcified cartilage, subchondral bone and underlying trabeculae result in abnormal strain distribution in the overlying articular cartilage, which then leads to the development of OA. This hypothesis is supported by studies demonstrating that the alterations in peri-articular bone occur prior to the appearance of changes in the articular cartilage during early development of OA4. It is therefore important to understand these early changes in order to develop new strategies for the treatment of OA.
The question is at what point in early OA do changes to the subchondral-trabecular bone and calcified cartilage relate to altered strain patterns in the articular cartilage and how do these changes relate to pathology? It is estimated that 12% of all osteoarthritic complaints in the hip, knee, and ankle are caused by post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) secondary to joint injury.
PTOA in the non-OA strain will be induced in animals at 4 and 8 weeks after (non-destructive) testing to measure the stain in the cartilage and subchondral bone the knees will be histologically assessed and inflammatory markers in the synovial fluid measured.
Effective start/end date1/01/2131/07/21


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