Diffuse reflectance near infrared spectroscopy can distinguish normal from enzymatically digested cartilage.
Brown CP., Bowden JC., Rintoul L., Meder R., Oloyede A., Crawford RW.
A non-destructive, diffuse reflectance near infrared spectroscopy (DR-NIRS) approach is considered as a potential tool for determining the component-level structural properties of articular cartilage. To this end, DR-NIRS was applied in vitro to detect structural changes, using principal component analysis as the statistical basis for characterization. The results show that this technique, particularly with first-derivative pretreatment, can distinguish normal, intact cartilage from enzymatically digested cartilage. Further, this paper establishes that the use of DR-NIRS enables the probing of the full depth of the uncalcified cartilage matrix, potentially allowing the assessment of degenerative changes in joint tissue, independent of the site of initiation of the osteoarthritic process.