Assessment of morphological, acoustic and mechanical properties of enzymatically-degraded articular cartilage using high frequency ultrasound

Yongping Zheng, Shu Zhe Wang, Yan Ping Huang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


In this study, high frequency ultrasound and ultrasound-assisted mechanical testing systems were used to quantitatively measure the morphological, acoustic and mechanical properties of normal and enzymatically degraded bovine articular cartilages in vitro, in order to assess its potential application in assessing the early osteoarthritis (OA) related cartilage degeneration. Forty (n = 20 x 2) osteochondral cartilage disks were prepared from 20 bovine patellae and divided into 2 groups for later collagenase and trypsin digestions, respectively. A high frequency ultrasound system was used to analyze the surface roughness (URI), thickness and acoustic parameters (including IRC, IA, IBS, AIB bone) of the articular cartilage before and after enzymatic degradations. A newly developed water jet ultrasound indentation system was used to assess the mechanical properties of the cartilage samples. The results showed that URI increased significantly (p < 0.05) after collagenase digestion, while this was not the case after trypsin digestion (p > 0.05). URI significantly also correlated with optical roughness index (ORI, p < 0.05). IRC decreased significantly (p < 0.05) after collagenase digestion, but not for trypsin digestion (p > 0.05). Both enzymatic degradation groups showed significant increase in IBS (p < 0.05) after treatments. The stiffness measured showed that articular cartilage from both groups became significantly softer (p < 0.05) after treatments. A linear relationship was founded between IRC and URI (p < 0.05). To conclude, this study showed that high frequency ultrasound can be potential as a comprehensive tool to quantitatively and systematically analyze the morphological, acoustic and mechanical properties of articular cartilage in association with its OA-associated degeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2009 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium and Short Courses, IUS 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Event2009 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2009 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 20 Sep 200923 Sep 2009


Conference2009 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2009


  • Acoustic parameters
  • Articular cartilage
  • Degeneration
  • High frequency ultrasound
  • Indentation
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Stiffness
  • Surface roughness
  • Thickness
  • Water jet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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