Nutrition of articular cartilage relies mainly on diffusion and convection of solutes through the interstitial fluid due to the lack of blood vessels. The diffusion is controlled by two factors: steric hindrance and electrostatic interactions between the solutes and the matrix components. Aging comes with changes in the cartilage structure and composition, which can influence the diffusion. In this study, we treated fibrocartilage of mandibular condyle with ribose to induce an aging-like effect by accumulating collagen crosslinks. The effect of steric hindrance or electrostatic forces on the diffusion was analyzed using either charged (Hexabrix) or uncharged (Visipaque) contrast agents. Osteochondral plugs from young equine mandibular condyles were treated with 500 mM ribose for 7 days. The effect of crosslinking on mechanical properties was then evaluated via dynamic indentation. Thereafter, the samples were exposed to contrast agents and imaged using contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) at 18 different time points up to 48 h to measure their diffusion. Normalized concentration of contrast agents in the cartilage and contrast agent diffusion flux, as well as the content of crosslink level (pentosidine), water, collagen, and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) were determined. Ribose treatment significantly increased the pentosidine level (from 0.01 to 7.6 mmol/mol collagen), which resulted in an increase in tissue stiffness (~1.5 fold). Interestingly, the normalized concentration and diffusion flux did not change after the induction of an increased level of pentosidine either for Hexabrix or Visipaque. The results of this study strongly suggest that sugar-induced collagen crosslinking in TMJ condylar cartilage does not affect the diffusion properties.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2019|