Identifying collagen bundles in the most superficial layer of normal articular cartilage
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Osteoarthritis is characterised by functional failure of synovial joints. It is directly related to degeneration and malfunction of articular cartilage. Earlier studies have reported that normal articular cartilage contains a 3D collagen network integrated with interwoven collagen bundles in the superficial zone. The collagen bundles are critical to the tensile and shearing resistance of articular cartilage. By integrating with the underlying collagen fibres, these collagen bundles also contribute to allow the loading capacity of the normal articular cartilage. The collagen bundles gradually disappear with age and early degradation of articular cartilage. This paper describes a computer image analysis technique developed to identify collagen bundles as an indicator of the healthy status of articular cartilage
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