Tendons and ligaments are orthopedic tissues made up of collagen fibers and are responsible for attenuating load when a tensile force is applied. There are many different imaging modalities used to visualize collagen fibers, but each has limitations that preclude use in dynamic microstructural analysis of musculoskeletal soft tissues. Because of this, a technique called reflectance quantitative polarized light imaging (rQPLI) has been developed. However, as this technique is in development, ongoing work is being conducted in the Lake Lab at Washington University in St. Louis to understand how extracellular matrix properties affect polarization state of light to inform data interpretation from rQPLI. To perform experiments to this end, a translational stage needed to be fabricated to facilitate high throughput imaging of collagen gels with rQPLI. As detailed in this report, a literature search was performed to determine a suitable setup that could be fabricated in house and would be compatible with rQPLI. A viable setup was chosen that was based on modifications of a miniature computer numerical control (CNC) mill and previously used in high throughput imaging of crystals in 96-well plates. This report details the fabrication process of the system and its validation for use with rQPLI.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission