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Rate process analysis of thermal damage in cartilage

  • Author(s): Díaz, SH
  • Nelson, JS
  • Wong, BJF
  • et al.
Abstract

Cartilage laser thermoforming (CLT) is a new surgical procedure that allows in situ treatment of deformities in the head and neck with less morbidity than traditional approaches. While some animal and human studies have shown promising results, the clinical feasibility of CLT depends on preservation of chondrocyte viability, which has not been extensively studied. The present paper characterizes cellular damage due to heat in rabbit nasal cartilage. Damage was modelled as a first order rate process for which two experimentally derived coefficients, A = 1.2 × 1070 s-1 and Ea = 4.5 × 105 J mole-1, were determined by quantifying the decrease in concentration of healthy chondrocytes in tissue samples as a function of exposure time to constant-temperature water baths. After immersion, chondrocytes were enzymatically isolated from the matrix and stained with a two-component fluorescent dye. The dye binds nuclear DNA differentially depending upon chondrocyte viability. A flow cytometer was used to detect differential cell fluorescence to determine the percentage of live and dead cells in each sample. As a result, a damage kinetic model was obtained that can be used to predict the onset, extent and severity of cellular injury to thermal exposure.

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