Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to quantify collagen and elastin in an in vitro model of extracellular matrix degradation in aorta†
Extracellular matrix (ECM) is a key component and regulator of many biological tissues including aorta. Several aortic pathologies are associated with significant changes in the composition of the matrix, especially in the content, quality and type of aortic structural proteins, collagen and elastin. The purpose of this study was to develop an infrared spectroscopic methodology that is comparable to biochemical assays to quantify collagen and elastin in aorta. Enzymatically degraded porcine aorta samples were used as a model of ECM degradation in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). After enzymatic treatment, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of the aortic tissue were acquired by an infrared fiber optic probe (IFOP) and FTIR imaging spectroscopy (FT-IRIS). Collagen and elastin content were quantified biochemically and partial least squares (PLS) models were developed to predict collagen and elastin content in aorta based on FTIR spectra. PLS models developed from FT-IRIS spectra were able to predict elastin and collagen content of the samples with strong correlations (RMSE of validation = 8.4% and 11.1% of the range respectively), and IFOP spectra were successfully used to predict elastin content (RMSE = 11.3% of the range). The PLS regression coefficients from the FT-IRIS models were used to map collagen and elastin in tissue sections of degraded porcine aortic tissue as well as a human AAA biopsy tissue, creating a similar map of each component compared to histology. These results support further application of FTIR spectroscopic techniques for evaluation of AAA tissues.