Three-dimensional Electron Microscopy of Molecular Bonding Mechanisms at the Cartilage-bone Interface in Equine Joints - RMGS

Project: Research

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Cartilage disease is common in horses causing joint pain and lameness. The osteochondral cement line is an important interface that attaches cartilage to bone, but the structural basis for the strong osteochondral bond remains obscure. The basis for cartilage and bone attachment underpins knowledge of joint disease and informs strategies for repair. Recent work using multiphoton microscopy hinted that the osteochondral cement line in horses contains intermingling collagen fibres from cartilage and/or bone, but it is unknown whether collagen fibres bind cartilage and bone together. Conflicting evidence from cows suggests that collagen fibres do not cross the osteochondral cement line, raising the possibility that horses may have a special adaptation that strengthens their joints. In this project we will image the osteochondral cement line in horses, using focussed ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM), to expose the arrangement of collagen and characterise adhesion mechanisms in high resolution and three dimensions.


Project number9229114
Grant typeDON_RMG
Effective start/end date1/02/23 → …