In Vivo Photoacoustic-Ultrasound (PAUS) Assay for Monitoring Tendon Collagen Compositional Changes During Injury and Healing

Published: 11 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/nr8yfrkzk3.1
Joseph Newton


Tendon injury and healing involve significant changes to tissue biology and composition. Current techniques often require animal sacrifice or tissue destruction, limiting assessment of dynamic changes in tendons, including treatment response, disease development, rupture risk, and healing progression. Changes in tendon composition, such as altered collagen content can significantly impact tendon mechanics and function. Analyses of compositional changes typically require ex vivo techniques with animal sacrifice or destruction of the tissue. In vivo evaluation of tendons is critical for longitudinal assessment. We hypothesize that photoacoustic ultrasound detects differences in collagen concentration throughout healing. We utilized photoacoustic ultrasound, a hybrid imaging modality that combines ultrasound and laser-induced photoacoustic signals to create detailed and high-resolution images of tendons, to identify its endogenous composition collagen. We correlated photoacoustic signal to picrosirius red staining. The results show that photoacoustic ultrasound estimated collagen content in tendons, correlating well with picrosirius red staining. This study demonstrates that photoacoustic ultrasound can assess injury-induced compositional changes within tendons and is the first study to image these targets in rat Achilles tendon in vivo.



Ultrasound, Photoacoustic Imaging