Under the Duke Institutional Review Board approval, all articular cartilages were collected from Duke University Hospital as waste surgical specimens. Full-thickness cartilage was collected from perilesional regions of the load-bearing area of the hip, knee, and ankle joints from patients with end-stage OA who had total arthroplasty surgery. Full-thickness healthy non-OA cartilage was collected at the time of surgery for acute trauma; the absence of OA was determined by the surgeon and confirmed by macroscopic inspection upon acquisition of the sample in the laboratory. A total of 18 individual specimens, including three types of joints (hip, knee, and ankle), two types of disease state (healthy and OA), and three biological replicates of each type with matched age range, were collected. The mean age of the healthy non-OA patients was 58.8 years (range, 30 to 82); the mean age of the patients with OA was 59.8 years (range, 42 to 87). Within 2 hours of surgical acquisition, all specimens were snap frozen in tubes on dry ice and stored in a −80°C freezer until extracted.

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