The Novel Contrast Agent CA4+ for Imaging Articular Cartilage of Mice Femora and Applications to Osteoarthritis
Verhagen Metman, Rolf H.
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating disease that is the result of degradation of articular cartilage and calcification of the ends of long bones. This debilitating disease seriously affects the economy, raising the aggregate annual medical care expenditures by $185.5 billion and forcing many people into early retirement. This form of arthritis is the fastest growing cause of disability worldwide and studies have predicted that by the year 2032 the proportion of the population over the age of 45 and afflicted by the disease will reach 29.5 percent. In this experiment, imaging by micro-CT 50 was used to analyze the chondyles of murine femora in order to examine the effect of a novel, positively charged contrast agent, CA4+. The cationic nature of the contrast agent allows it several advantages over current, anionic contrast agents, and enhanced imaging techniques would allow for a better understanding of the etiopathology of the disease. This experiment was a technique establishing experiment and, therefore tested parameters for murine femora in the micro-CT 50, the proper concentration of CA4+ to soak murine femora in and the diffusion kinetics of the novel contrast agent into the articular cartilage. The results of the experiment found that the imaging was most successful using an integration time of 1000 ms, a voltage current combination of 45 kVp and 200 uA, and a voxel size of 3 um. The concentrations of CA4+ tested were 6, 12, 24, and 48 mg/mL and it was found that 12 mg/mL was the most effective for enhanced imaging. It was also found that this concentration performed only slightly better than its leading anionic competitor, Hexabrix. The diffusion of CA4+ was found to sufficiently occur at approximately 90 minutes.