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Towards the in vivo prediction of fragility fractures with Raman spectroscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • Kevin Buckley
  • Jemma G. Kerns
  • Jacqueline Vinton
  • Panagiotis D. Gikas
  • Christian Smith
  • Anthony W. Parker
  • Pavel Matousek
  • Allen E. Goodship
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/07/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Raman Spectroscopy
Issue number7
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)610-618
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


Fragility fractures, those fractures which result from low level trauma, have a large and growing socio-economic cost in countries with aging populations. Bone-density-based assessment techniques are vital for identifying populations that are at higher risk of fracture, but do not have high sensitivity when it comes to identifying individuals who will go on to have their first fragility fracture. We are developing Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) as a tool for retrieving chemical information from bone non-invasively in vivo. Unlike X-ray-based techniques SORS can retrieve chemical information from both the mineral and protein phases of the bone. This may enable better discrimination between those who will or will not go on to have a fragility fracture because both phases contribute to bone's mechanical properties. In this study we analyse excised bone with Raman spectroscopy and multivariate analysis, and then att to look for similar Raman signals in vivo using SORS. We show in the excised work that on average, bone fragments from the necks of fractured femora are more mineralised (by 5-10%) than (cadaveric) non-fractured controls, but the mineralisation distributions of the two cohorts are largely overlapped. In our in vivo measurements, we observe similar, but as yet statistically underpowered, differences. After the SORS data (the first SORS measurements reported of healthy and diseased human cohorts), we identify methodological developments which will be used to improve the statistical significance of future experiments and may eventually lead to more sensitive prediction of fragility fractures.