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Front. Phys. | doi: 10.3389/fphy.2019.00137

Assessment of articular cartilage by second harmonic microscopy: challenges and opportunities

 Rajesh Kumar1* and Anup Kumar2
  • 1Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • 2Department of Orthopaedics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Patna), India

Second harmonic microscopy (SHM) has emerged as a powerful nondestructive optical imaging modality that has high potential to perform the advanced structural characterization of intact articular cartilage. This article provides the current status, opportunities and challenges of SHM for the use in cartilage evaluation. A novel perspective on SHM is being addressed that includes the reason, need and the importance of SHM in the assessment of articular cartilage. By taking the advantage of collagen specificity and high-resolution imaging, SHM can detect the structural and morphological changes in early stage cartilage damage that would otherwise be overlooked by standard clinical imaging methods such as radiography and arthroscopy. The current status of SHM for articular cartilage analysis and the major progress reported in recent literature are briefly described herein. We summarize the status of scientific efforts and the challenges that need to overcome before moving towards clinical applications of SHM in the context of cartilage evaluation.

Keywords: Second harmonic microscopy, Collagen imaging, articular cartilage, Microscopy, two photon microscopy

Received: 07 Mar 2019; Accepted: 06 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Kumar and Kumar. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, 101rajesh@gmail.com