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Development of 3D Histopathological Grading of Osteoarthritis


"Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common musculoskeletal disease occurring worldwide. Despite extensive research, etiology of OA is still poorly understood. Histopathological grading (HPG) of 2D tissue sections is the gold standard reference method for determination of OA stage. However, traditional 2D-HPG is destructive and based only on subjective visual evaluation. These limitations induce bias to clinical in vitro OA diagnostics and basic research that both rely strongly on HPG.

Objectives: 1) To establish and validate the very first 3D-HPG of OA based on cutting-edge nano/micro-CT (Computed Tomography) technologies in vitro; 2) To use the established method to clarify the beginning phases of OA; and 3) To validate 3D-HPG of OA for in vivo use.

Methods: Several hundreds of human osteochondral samples from patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty will be collected. The samples will be imaged in vitro with nano/micro-CT and clinical high-end extremity CT devices using specific contrast-agents to quantify tissue constituents and structure in 3D in large volume. From this information, a novel 3D-HPG is developed with statistical classification algorithms. Finally, the developed novel 3D-HPG of OA will be applied clinically in vivo.

Significance: This is the very first study to establish 3D-HPG of OA pathology in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the developed technique hugely improves the understanding of the beginning phases of OA. Ultimately, the study will contribute for improving OA patients’ quality of life by slowing the disease progression, and for providing powerful tools to develop new OA therapies."

Call for proposal

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Pentti kaiteran katu 1
90014 Oulu

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Manner-Suomi Pohjois- ja Itä-Suomi Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Sinikka Eskelinen (Dr.)
Principal investigator
Simo Jaakko Saarakkala (Dr.)
EU contribution
€ 1 500 000,00

Beneficiaries (1)