Using Liquid-Chromatography Mass-Spectrometry to Determine Metabolite Makeup Within Osteoarthritic and Healthy Synovial Fluid
Metabolomics is emerging as a new field of scientific study used to reveal metabolic phenotypes of diseases and disorders. Metabolomics has recently been employed to study osteoarthritis, which is the leading cause of arthritis across the world. OA is associated with degeneration of joint tissues, in particular the articular cartilage. OA is considered irreversible by the time of diagnosis because cartilage is avascular and thus has minimal regeneration capacities. This breakdown in cartilage leads to painful interaction between bones in these joints. The disease is only easily diagnosed in later stages using MRI or X-Ray images, when the symptoms have progressed so far that the joint becomes painful for the patient. Because of this, we plan to use metabolomics in order to find a new way to diagnose OA in earlier stages before the symptoms have progressed. Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (LC-MS) will be used to separate and assign masses to metabolites found within samples of healthy and osteoarthritic synovial fluid effusion samples. The program MetaboAnalyst will be used to determine if there are significant differences in the metabolite populations within these samples. Differences in the makeup of metabolites within these two samples would be a potential earlier form of diagnosis for OA, helping physicians to start treatments for the disease before it has progressed.