Subscribe to Newsletter
Diagnostics Microscopy and imaging, Analytical science

Finding Osteoarthritis’ Missing Link with Mass Spectrometry

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common joint disorders – but its mechanisms are still not fully understood and existing biomarkers lack reliability and sensitivity. This makes it difficult for clinicians to prescribe targeted treatments – a problem University of South Australia researchers are dedicated to solving.

Covering a 20-year period, they reviewed research that used mass spectroscopy imaging (MSI) to map complex sugars associated with cartilage damage in OA (1). By identifying these molecular mechanisms, the team hope to explain why cartilage degrades at different rates and potentially identify diagnostic biomarkers.

“Diagnosing osteoarthritis has relied heavily on X-rays or MRI, but these provide limited information and don’t detect biomolecular changes that signal cartilage and bone abnormalities,” said lead author Yea-Rin Lee (2). “Alternative imaging methods such as MSI can identify specific molecules and organic compounds in the tissue section.”

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Pathologist and its sponsors.
Stay up to date with our other newsletters and sponsors information, tailored specifically to the fields you are interested in

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

  1. YR Lee et al., J Mol Sci, 21, 6414 (2020). PMID: 32899238.
  2. University of South Australia (2020). Available at:
About the Author
Liv Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

Register to The Pathologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Pathologist magazine