Istituto di Cristallografia - CNR

Supra and Sub Molecular Investigation of Pathologic Tissues by X-Ray Scanning Microscopy

X-ray Small and Wide Scattering scanning microscopies have been adopted to inspect morphological and structural
properties of collagen-based tissues at the atomic and nano scale 1 . Examples will be discussed on specific pathologies:
o osteoarthritis of the hip, also named osteoarthrosis of the hip or coxarthrosis, which is a chronic degenerative
disorder of the hip joint, causing growing articular pain that can bring the patient to lifestyle limitations until
surgical intervention is needed 2
o keratoconus, a pathology affecting cornea, which causes progressive thinning of the stroma and consequently
abnormal curvature, inducing irregular astigmatism and myopia, corneal fibrosis, and distortion of vision, due
to the modification in the organization of the corneal collagen 3
o abdominal aortic aneurysm, that occurs in the major artery from the hearth that supplies blood to the abdomen,
and popliteal aneurysm, that takes place in the legs, behind the knees, characterized by alteration of collagen
structure into vessel’s wall of the aneurysm tissues, heterogeneous grade of inflammation related to infiltrating
cells and extracellular matrix changes, in particular disruption of elastic fibers, fibrosis and calcifications 4
o diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period due to
defects in insulin action or secretion, which causes collagen to have a fixed orientation, stiffen the tissue and is
likely to disrupt the normal cell interactions.

Impact factor
Cinzia Giannini, Davide Altamura, Teresa Sibillano, Alberta Terzi, Francesco Scattarella, Dritan Siliqi, Rocco Lassandro, Massimo Ladisa, Liberato De Caro