X-ray computed tomography of the anterior cruciate ligament and patellar tendon.

Tom Shearer, Shelley Rawson, Simon Castro, Richard Balint, Robert Bradley, Tristan Lowe, J Vila-Comamala, Peter Lee, Sarah Cartmell

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The effect of phosphotungstic acid (PTA) and iodine solution (IKI) staining was investigated as a method of enhancing contrast in the X-ray computed tomography of porcine anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) and patellar tendons (PT). We show that PTA enhanced surface contrast, but was ineffective at penetrating samples, whereas IKI penetrated more effectively and enhanced contrast after 70 hours of staining. Contrast enhancement was compared when using laboratory and synchrotron based X-ray sources. Using the laboratory source, PT fascicles were tracked and their alignment was measured. Individual ACL fascicles could not be identified, but identifiable features were evident that were tracked. Higher resolution scans of fascicle bundles from the PT and ACL were obtained using synchrotron imaging techniques. These scans exhibited greater contrast between the fascicles and matrix in the PT sample, facilitating the identification of the fascicle edges; however, it was still not possible to detect individual fascicles in the ACL. © CIC Edizioni Internazionali.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages6
JournalMuscles, ligaments and tendons journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Contrast enhancement
  • Fascicle
  • Patellar tendon
  • Staining
  • X-ray tomography


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