Pre-Clinical Translation of Second Harmonic Microscopy of Meniscal and Articular Cartilage Using a Prototype Nonlinear Microendoscope

January 9, 2019

Stephen J. BaskeyMarco AndreanaEric LanteigneAndrew RidsdaleAlbert StolowMark E. Schweitzer

Early Access Note:
Early Access articles are new content made available in advance of the final electronic or print versions and result from IEEE’s Preprint or Rapid Post processes. Preprint articles are peer-reviewed but not fully edited. Rapid Post articles are peer-reviewed and edited but not paginated. Both these types of Early Access articles are fully citable from the moment they appear in IEEE Xplore.
Pre-Clinical Translation of Second Harmonic Microscopy of Meniscal and Articular Cartilage Using a Prototype Nonlinear Microendoscope


Previous studies using nonlinear microscopy have demonstrated that osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized by the gradual replacement of Type II collagen with Type I collagen. The objective of this study was to develop a prototype nonlinear laser scanning microendoscope capable of resolving the structural differences of collagen in various orthopaedically relevant cartilaginous surfaces. The current prototype developed a miniaturized femtosecond laser scanning instrument, mounted on an articulated positioning system, capable of both conventional arthroscopy and second-harmonic laser-scanning microscopy. Its optical system includes a multi-resolution optical system using a gradient index (GRIN) objective lens and a customized multi-purpose fibre optic sheath to maximize the collection of back scattered photons or provide joint capsule illumination. The stability and suitability of the prototype arthroscope to approach and image cartilage was evaluated through preliminary testing on fresh, minimally processed, partially intact porcine knee joints. Image quality was sufficient to distinguish between hyaline cartilage and fibrocartilage through unique Type I and Type II collagen specific characteristics. Imaging the meniscus revealed that the system was able to visualize differences in the collagen arrangement between the superficial and lamellar layers. Such detailed in vivo imaging of cartilage surfaces could in the future obviate the need to perform biopsies for ex vivo histological analysis and provide an alternative to conventional external imaging to characterize and diagnose progressive and degenerative cartilage diseases such as OA. Moreover, this system is readily customizable and may provide a suitable, modular, platform for developing additional tools utilizing femtosecond lasers for tissue cutting within the familiar confines of two or three portal arthroscopy techniques.



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