Finding Early Signs of Arthritis

Posted on: February 11, 2009

Atomic-force microscopy could advance osteoarthritis drug development.

Martin Stolz

Molecular checkup: Atomic-force microscopy images show molecular changes in cartilage decades before symptoms show up. In this image of osteoarthritic cartilage, collagen fibers are lined up instead of randomly ordered, as in healthy cartilage. The white arrows point to a gap in the fibers, and the silvery diamond represents the microscopy probe. Credit: Martin Stolz

Osteoarthritis, which affects about 14 million people in the United States alone, occurs when cartilage between joints degrades and disappears, leaving joint bones to grind painfully against each other. Therapies can alleviate some of the pain, and some patients undergo joint replacements, but there is no cure. Now nanotechnologists at the University of Basel, in Switzerland, have demonstrated that the molecular changes characteristic of the disease’s earliest stages can be detected using an atomic-force microscope (AFM). The researchers hope that using the extremely sensitive technique to monitor response to osteoarthritis therapies will speed the development of more-effective drugs for the disease.

>>>> Article in MIT Tech Review

1 Response to "Finding Early Signs of Arthritis"

[…] admin posted a noteworthy aricle today onHere’s a small snippetFinding Early Signs of Arthritis. Posted by: Snowcrash on: February 11, 2009. In: Biotechnology · Comment! Atomic-force microscopy could advance osteoarthritis drug development. Martin Stolz. Molecular checkup: Atomic-force microscopy … […]

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