Investigating cartilage-related diseases by polarization-resolved second harmonic generation (P-SHG) imaging

Kausalya Neelavara Makkithaya, Nirmal Mazumder, Wei Hsun Wang, Wei Liang Chen, Ming Chi Chen, Ming Xin Lee, Chin Yu Lin, Yung Ju Yeh, Gregory J. Tsay, Sitaram Chopperla, Krishna Kishore Mahato, Fu Jen Kao, Guan Yu Zhuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Establishing quantitative parameters for differentiating between healthy and diseased cartilage tissues by examining collagen fibril degradation patterns facilitates the understanding of tissue characteristics during disease progression. These findings could also complement existing clinical methods used to diagnose cartilage-related diseases. In this study, cartilage samples from normal, osteoarthritis (OA), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) tissues were prepared and analyzed using polarization-resolved second harmonic generation (P-SHG) imaging and quantitative image texture analysis. The enhanced molecular contrast obtained from this approach is expected to aid in distinguishing between healthy and diseased cartilage tissues. P-SHG image analysis revealed distinct parameters in the cartilage samples, reflecting variations in collagen fibril arrangement and organization across different pathological states. Normal tissues exhibited distinct χ3331 values compared with those of OA and RA, indicating collagen type transition and cartilage erosion with chondrocyte swelling, respectively. Compared with those of normal tissues, OA samples demonstrated a higher degree of linear polarization, suggesting increased tissue birefringence due to the deposition of type-I collagen in the extracellular matrix. The distribution of the planar orientation of collagen fibrils revealed a more directional orientation in the OA samples, associated with increased type-I collagen, while the RA samples exhibited a heterogeneous molecular orientation. This study revealed that the imaging technique, the quantitative analysis of the images, and the derived parameters presented in this study could be used as a reference for disease diagnostics, providing a clear understanding of collagen fibril degradation in cartilage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number026107
JournalAPL Bioengineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-06-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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