Conventional histological assessment of tissue requires the removal of tissue from its physiological environment for pathological processing. In this study we report on the development and application of a laser scanning confocal arthroscope (LSCA) capable of in situ histological assessment by confocal microscopy.The knee joints of three euthanasied adult Merino sheep were imaged using the LSCA and a combination of fluorescent contrasting agents. LSCA images of various tissues were examined for common histological characteristics.The confocal histology images from the ovine knee acquired during the course of our study illustrated some of the major histological features of chondral and connective tissues.Our study demonstrates the efficacy of the LSCA for the histological assessment of the chondral and connective tissues of the ovine knee. The LSCA provides an easy and rapid method for assessing the in situ structure of cartilage, muscle, tendon, ligament, meniscus and synovium in their native and unaltered physiological environment. By obviating the need for mechanical biopsy, the LSCA provides a method for the non-destructive assessment of the chondral and connective tissues of the knee, and may be of great benefit in the investigation of orthopedic diseases or in the assessment of newly emerging cartilage repair techniques.
|Journal||Journal of Musculoskeletal Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|