Utilizing confocal microscopy to measure refractive index of articular cartilage
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This study proposes a method for measuring the refractive index of articular cartilage within a thin and small specimen slice. The cartilage specimen, with a thickness of about 50 μm, was put next to a thin film of immersion oil of similar thickness. Both the articular cartilage and immersion oil were scanned along the depth direction using a confocal microscope. The refractive index mismatch between the cartilage and the immersion oil induced a slight axial deformation in the confocal images of the cartilage specimen that was accurately measured by a subpixel edge-detection-based technique. A theoretical model was built to quantify the focal shift of confocal microscopy caused by the refractive index mismatch. With the quantitative deformations of cartilage images and the quantified function of focal shift, the refractive index of articular cartilage was accurately interpolated. At 561 nm, 0.1 MPa and 20 °C, the overall refractive index of the six cartilage plugs was 1.3975 ± 0.0156. The overall coefficient of variation of all cartilage specimens was 0.68%, which indicated the high repeatability of our method. The verification experiments using distilled water showed a minimal relative error of 0.02%.
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Wang, K.; Wu, Jianping; Kirk, Thomas (2013)The depth distributions of refractive index (RI) in normal and early degenerated articular cartilage (AC) were measured and correlated to the pathological statuses. Utilizing a confocal microscope, the depth distribution ...
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