Molecular imaging of tendinopathies with Raman spectroscopy


The aim of this project is to develop structural and chemical studies of tendons with Raman spectroscopy.    Tendinopathies affecting the distal limb flexor tendons are prevalent in athletic horses and in human Achilles and rotator cuff tendons.  Raman spectroscopy enables the detailed and non-destructive assessment of molecular changes not possible with common biochemical approaches.  The student will perform a comparative analysis between healthy and tendinopathic tissue from horses and apply mathematical models to the complex Raman spectra.  This will enable detailed interpretation of data to explore the potential for a diagnostic assay by combining biology, chemistry and clinical orthopaedics.


Dudhia, J.; Firth, S.; McMillan, P. F.; Draper, E. R. C., Imaging Early molecular alterations in articular cartilage degeneration by Raman spectroscopy : diagnostic applications. International Journal of Experimental Pathology 2010, 91, A32.


Avella CS, Ely ER, VerHeyen KLP, Price JS, Wood JLN, Smith RKW. Ultrasonographic assessment of the superficial digital flexor tendons of National Hunt racehorses in training over two racing seasons, Equine Veterinary Journal 2009 41 (5), 449-454


Dean BJ, Franklin SL, Carr AJ A systematic review of the histological and molecular changes in rotator cuff disease Bone Joint Res. 2012 Jul; 7(1): 158-166. doi: 10.1302/2046-3758.17.2000115


Esmonde-White K.  Raman spectroscopy of soft musculoskeletal tissues. Appl Spectrosc. 2014 ; 68(11): 1203–1218. doi:10.1366/14-07592.


Harris AT, Garg M, Yang XB, Fisher SE, Kirkham J, Smith DA, Martin-Hirsch DP, High AS.  Raman spectroscopy and advanced mathematical modelling in the discrimination of human thyroid cell lines. Head Neck Oncol. 2009 Oct 28;1:38. doi: 10.1186/1758-3284-1-38.

Biological Areas:

Structural Biology
Chemical Biology


Animal disease, health and welfare