Brillouin and Raman microspectroscopy (BRamS) is a scattering technique that simultaneously assesses the mechanical and chemical properties of tissues with micrometric resolution. It has gained increasing attention in the biomedical field over the last decade and has been successfully used for both single -cell studies and whole -tissue characterization under physiological and pathological conditions. In addition, it is non-destructive, non-contact, and does not require labeling, offering the potential for future in vivo applications. The close interdependence between morphology, biochemistry, and mechanics is particularly relevant in the case of musculoskeletal tissues, where the complex structure is well -designed to ensure exceptional mechanical performance. The ability of tissues to resist and adapt to the mechanical and chemical stresses to which they are subjected depends to a large extent on maintaining the correct arrangement of all their components, starting from the microscopic level. In several common degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis (OA), the tissue architecture is destroyed by inflammatory processes, resulting in a rearrangement of its entire structure, leading to a complete loss of function and, often the need for prosthetic replacement. In this case, the use of minimally invasive techniques to explore the lesions could become a valuable resource for the surgeon in formulating a more precise diagnosis and, therefore, in providing more appropriate treatments. Here we discuss some of the results obtained by our group in characterizing human musculoskeletal tissue and detecting OA lesions in joints using BRamS.
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