Displaying all 6 publications

  1. Moo EK, Amrein M, Epstein M, Duvall M, Abu Osman NA, Pingguan-Murphy B, et al.
    Biophys. J., 2013 Oct 1;105(7):1590-600.
    PMID: 24094400 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.08.035
    Impact loading of articular cartilage causes extensive chondrocyte death. Cell membranes have a limited elastic range of 3-4% strain but are protected from direct stretch during physiological loading by their membrane reservoir, an intricate pattern of membrane folds. Using a finite-element model, we suggested previously that access to the membrane reservoir is strain-rate-dependent and that during impact loading, the accessible membrane reservoir is drastically decreased, so that strains applied to chondrocytes are directly transferred to cell membranes, which fail when strains exceed 3-4%. However, experimental support for this proposal is lacking. The purpose of this study was to measure the accessible membrane reservoir size for different membrane strain rates using membrane tethering techniques with atomic force microscopy. We conducted atomic force spectroscopy on isolated chondrocytes (n = 87). A micron-sized cantilever was used to extract membrane tethers from cell surfaces at constant pulling rates. Membrane tethers could be identified as force plateaus in the resulting force-displacement curves. Six pulling rates were tested (1, 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80 μm/s). The size of the membrane reservoir, represented by the membrane tether surface areas, decreased exponentially with increasing pulling rates. The current results support our theoretical findings that chondrocytes exposed to impact loading die because of membrane ruptures caused by high tensile membrane strain rates.
  2. Moo EK, Abusara Z, Abu Osman NA, Pingguan-Murphy B, Herzog W
    J Biomech, 2013 Aug 9;46(12):2024-31.
    PMID: 23849134 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.06.007
    Morphological studies of live connective tissue cells are imperative to helping understand cellular responses to mechanical stimuli. However, photobleaching is a constant problem to accurate and reliable live cell fluorescent imaging, and various image thresholding methods have been adopted to account for photobleaching effects. Previous studies showed that dual photon excitation (DPE) techniques are superior over conventional one photon excitation (OPE) confocal techniques in minimizing photobleaching. In this study, we investigated the effects of photobleaching resulting from OPE and DPE on morphology of in situ articular cartilage chondrocytes across repeat laser exposures. Additionally, we compared the effectiveness of three commonly-used image thresholding methods in accounting for photobleaching effects, with and without tissue loading through compression. In general, photobleaching leads to an apparent volume reduction for subsequent image scans. Performing seven consecutive scans of chondrocytes in unloaded cartilage, we found that the apparent cell volume loss caused by DPE microscopy is much smaller than that observed using OPE microscopy. Applying scan-specific image thresholds did not prevent the photobleaching-induced volume loss, and volume reductions were non-uniform over the seven repeat scans. During cartilage loading through compression, cell fluorescence increased and, depending on the thresholding method used, led to different volume changes. Therefore, different conclusions on cell volume changes may be drawn during tissue compression, depending on the image thresholding methods used. In conclusion, our findings confirm that photobleaching directly affects cell morphology measurements, and that DPE causes less photobleaching artifacts than OPE for uncompressed cells. When cells are compressed during tissue loading, a complicated interplay between photobleaching effects and compression-induced fluorescence increase may lead to interpretations in cell responses to mechanical stimuli that depend on the microscopic approach and the thresholding methods used and may result in contradictory interpretations.
  3. Moo EK, Herzog W, Han SK, Abu Osman NA, Pingguan-Murphy B, Federico S
    Biomech Model Mechanobiol, 2012 Sep;11(7):983-93.
    PMID: 22234779 DOI: 10.1007/s10237-011-0367-2
    Experimental findings indicate that in-situ chondrocytes die readily following impact loading, but remain essentially unaffected at low (non-impact) strain rates. This study was aimed at identifying possible causes for cell death in impact loading by quantifying chondrocyte mechanics when cartilage was subjected to a 5% nominal tissue strain at different strain rates. Multi-scale modelling techniques were used to simulate cartilage tissue and the corresponding chondrocytes residing in the tissue. Chondrocytes were modelled by accounting for the cell membrane, pericellular matrix and pericellular capsule. The results suggest that cell deformations, cell fluid pressures and fluid flow velocity through cells are highest at the highest (impact) strain rate, but they do not reach damaging levels. Tangential strain rates of the cell membrane were highest at the highest strain rate and were observed primarily in superficial tissue cells. Since cell death following impact loading occurs primarily in superficial zone cells, we speculate that cell death in impact loading is caused by the high tangential strain rates in the membrane of superficial zone cells causing membrane rupture and loss of cell content and integrity.
  4. Moo EK, Al-Saffar Y, Le T, A Seerattan R, Pingguan-Murphy B, K Korhonen R, et al.
    J Orthop Res, 2021 Dec 16.
    PMID: 34914129 DOI: 10.1002/jor.25243
    Degeneration of articular cartilage is often triggered by a small tissue crack. As cartilage structure and composition change with age, the mechanics of cracked cartilage may depend on the tissue age, but this relationship is poorly understood. Here, we investigated cartilage mechanics and crack deformation in immature and mature cartilage exposed to a full-thickness tissue crack using indentation testing and histology, respectively. When a cut was introduced, tissue cracks opened wider in the mature cartilage compared to the immature cartilage. However, the opposite occurred upon mechanical indentation over the cracked region. Functionally, the immature-cracked cartilages stress-relaxed faster, experienced increased tissue strain, and had reduced instantaneous stiffness, compared to the mature-cracked cartilages. Taken together, mature cartilage appears to withstand surface cracks and maintains its mechanical properties better than immature cartilage and these superior properties can be explained by the structure of their collagen fibrous network.
  5. Al-Saffar Y, Moo EK, Pingguan-Murphy B, Matyas J, Korhonen RK, Herzog W
    Connect Tissue Res, 2023 May;64(3):294-306.
    PMID: 36853960 DOI: 10.1080/03008207.2023.2166500
    Cartilage cracks disrupt tissue mechanics, alter cell mechanobiology, and often trigger tissue degeneration. Yet, some tissue cracks heal spontaneously. A primary factor determining the fate of tissue cracks is the compression-induced mechanics, specifically whether a crack opens or closes when loaded. Crack deformation is thought to be affected by tissue structure, which can be probed by quantitative polarized light microscopy (PLM). It is unclear how the PLM measures are related to deformed crack morphology. Here, we investigated the relationship between PLM-derived cartilage structure and mechanical behavior of tissue cracks by testing if PLM-derived structural measures correlated with crack morphology in mechanically indented cartilages.

    METHODS: Knee joint cartilages harvested from mature and immature animals were used for their distinct collagenous fibrous structure and composition. The cartilages were cut through thickness, indented over the cracked region, and processed histologically. Sample-specific birefringence was quantified as two-dimensional (2D) maps of azimuth and retardance, two measures related to local orientation and degree of alignment of the collagen fibers, respectively. The shape of mechanically indented tissue cracks, measured as depth-dependent crack opening, were compared with azimuth, retardance, or "PLM index," a new parameter derived by combining azimuth and retardance.

    RESULTS: Of the three parameters, only the PLM index consistently correlated with the crack shape in immature and mature tissues.

    CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we identified the relative roles of azimuth and retardance on the deformation of tissue cracks, with azimuth playing the dominant role. The applicability of the PLM index should be tested in future studies using naturally-occurring tissue cracks.

  6. Moo EK, Han SK, Federico S, Sibole SC, Jinha A, Abu Osman NA, et al.
    J Biomech, 2014 Mar 21;47(5):1004-13.
    PMID: 24480705 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.01.003
    Cartilage lesions change the microenvironment of cells and may accelerate cartilage degradation through catabolic responses from chondrocytes. In this study, we investigated the effects of structural integrity of the extracellular matrix (ECM) on chondrocytes by comparing the mechanics of cells surrounded by an intact ECM with cells close to a cartilage lesion using experimental and numerical methods. Experimentally, 15% nominal compression was applied to bovine cartilage tissues using a light-transmissible compression system. Target cells in the intact ECM and near lesions were imaged by dual-photon microscopy. Changes in cell morphology (N(cell)=32 for both ECM conditions) were quantified. A two-scale (tissue level and cell level) Finite Element (FE) model was also developed. A 15% nominal compression was applied to a non-linear, biphasic tissue model with the corresponding cell level models studied at different radial locations from the centre of the sample in the transient phase and at steady state. We studied the Green-Lagrange strains in the tissue and cells. Experimental and theoretical results indicated that cells near lesions deform less axially than chondrocytes in the intact ECM at steady state. However, cells near lesions experienced large tensile strains in the principal height direction, which are likely associated with non-uniform tissue radial bulging. Previous experiments showed that tensile strains of high magnitude cause an up-regulation of digestive enzyme gene expressions. Therefore, we propose that cartilage degradation near tissue lesions may be due to the large tensile strains in the principal height direction applied to cells, thus leading to an up-regulation of catabolic factors.
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