- Contrast-enhanced microCT (EPIC-µCT) ex vivo applied to the mouse and human jaw joint
- Dentomaxillofacial Radiology
- Volume | Issue number
- 43 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is susceptive to the development of osteoarthritis (OA). More detailed knowledge of its development is essential to improve our insight into TMJ-OA. It is imperative to have a standardized reliable three-dimensional (3D) imaging method that allows for detailed assessment of both bone and cartilage in healthy and diseased joints. We aimed to determine the applicability of a contrast-enhanced microCT (µCT) technique for ex vivo research of mouse and human TMJs.
Equilibrium partitioning of an ionic contrast agent via µCT (EPIC-µCT) was previously applied for cartilage assessment in the knee joint. The method was ex vivo, applied to the mouse TMJ and adapted for the human TMJ.
EPIC-µCT (30-min immersion time) was applied to mouse mandibular condyles, and 3D imaging revealed an average cartilage thickness of 110 ± 16 µm. These measurements via EPIC-µCT were similar to the histomorphometric measures (113 ± 19 µm). For human healthy OA-affected TMJ samples, the protocol was adjusted to an immersion time of 1 h. 3D imaging revealed a significant thicker cartilage layer in joints with early signs of OA compared with healthy joints (414.2 ± 122.6 and 239.7 ± 50.5 µm, respectively). A subsequent significant thinner layer was found in human joints with late signs of OA (197.4 ± 159.7 µm).
The EPIC-µCT technique is effective for the ex vivo assessment of 3D cartilage morphology in the mouse as well as human TMJ and allows bone-cartilage interaction research in TMJ-OA.
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