Table of Contents
Journal of Biophysics
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 819635, 4 pages
Research Article

DSC Study of Collagen in Disc Disease

1Department of Neurosurgery, Military Institute of the Health Services, Central Clinical Hospital of the Department of National Defence, Szaserów 128, 00-909 Warsaw, Poland
2Biopolymer Research Group, Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 7, 87-100 Torun, Poland

Received 19 August 2009; Accepted 24 December 2009

Academic Editor: Hong Qian

Copyright © 2009 S. Skrzyński et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) has been used to estimate the effect of disc disease on the collagen helix-coil transition and morphology for tissue extracted from patients during surgical operation. Forty discs were obtained from patients with degenerative disc disease undergoing surgery for low back pain. The patients were in the age between 20 and 70 years old. The specimens were kept wet during DSC experiment. The data allow the comparison between thermal stability of collagen tissue from healthy patients and from patients suffering from disc disease. In the paper the comparison between thermal helix-coil transition for collagen fibers from patients suffering from disc disease and collagen fibers from healthy organisms has been discussed. The heating rate has an influence on the position on denaturation temperatures of collagen in disc tissues. Higher helix-coil transition temperature of collagen in degenerated disc suggests that additional intermolecular cross linking of collagen fibers occurs. Denaturation temperatures of collagen in degenerated male disc possess smaller values than in female ones. Disc disease induces changes in collagen structure and leads to formation of additional crosslinks between collagen fibers.