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Table 1 Comparative features and guidelines for applying contemporary imaging techniques in imaging components of articular cartilage

From: High-resolution measurements of the multilayer ultra-structure of articular cartilage and their translational potential

Imaging techniques Comparative features
Chondrocyte Collagen Elastin Proteoglycan Resolution Depth Cost Time-consuming Friendly access
MRI      +   ++ + ++
Electron microscopy + ++   +++ +++   +++ +++ +
CLSM +++ +++ +++   ++ ++ ++ + +++
SHG + +++    ++ +++ ++ + ++
LSCA ++ +    ++ ++ + + +++
SHG arthroscope (potential) + +++    ++ +++ ++ + +++
  1. + average, ++ recommended, +++ highly recommended. CLSM, confocal laser scanning microscopy; LSCA, laser scanning confocal arthroscopy; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; SHG, second-harmonic generation.