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Journal Article

The architecture of cartilage: Elemental maps and scanning transmission ion microscopy/tomography

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Reinert, T., Reibetanz, U., Sakellariou, A., Schwertner, M., Vogt, J., & Butz, T. (2002). The architecture of cartilage: Elemental maps and scanning transmission ion microscopy/tomography. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 188(1-4), 1-8. doi:10.1016/S0168-583X(01)01001-1.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-C56B-6
Articular cartilage is not just a jelly-like cover of the bone within the joints but a highly sophisticated architecture of hydrated macromolecules, collagen fibrils and cartilage cells. Influences on the physiological balance due to age-related or pathological changes can lead to malfunction and subsequently to degradation of the cartilage. Many activities in cartilage research are dealing with the architecture of joint cartilage but have limited access to elemental distributions. Nuclear microscopy is able to yield spatially resolved elemental concentrations, provides density information and can visualise the arrangement of the collagen fibres. The distribution of the cartilage matrix can be deduced from the elemental and density maps. The findings showed a varying content of collagen and proteoglycan between zones of different cell maturation. Zones of higher collagen content are characterised by aligned collagen fibres that can form tubular structures. Recently we focused on STIM tomography to investigate the three dimensional arrangement of the collagen structures.