Ultrastructural analysis of collagen fibril diameter distribution in cleft lip

Mohammad Faisal J. Khan, Julian Little, Tapas Chandra Nag, Peter Anthony Mossey, Luca Autelitano, Maria Costanza Meazzini, Ahmed Merajuddin, Anuraag Singh, Michele Rubini (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
180 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: A preliminary study to determine collagen fibril diameter (CF-ED) distribution on medial and lateral sides of cleft lip (CL).

Material and Methods: Tissue samples from medial and lateral sides of CL were fixed in 2.5% glutaraldehyde and 1% osmium tetroxide and embedded in Araldite CY212 resin for transmission electron microscopy. The analysis of CF-ED was performed using the ImageJ program. To characterize the packaging of collagen fibrils (CFs) in the two tissues, we estimated the collagen number density (CF-ND) and fibril-area-fraction (FAF). Differences in measurements across the two sides were calculated using Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

Results: The CF-ED was statistically significantly (p < 0.001) smaller on the medial side (45.69 ± 7.89 nm) than on the lateral side (54.18 ± 7.62 nm). The medial side had a higher CF-ND and a higher percentage of FAF than the lateral side.

Conclusion: Our finding of a smaller CF-ED and higher CF-ND and FAF for the medial side suggests possible differences in size and distribution of CFs between medial and lateral sides of CL. This finding provides knowledge toward underlying tissue biomechanics that may help reconstruction of perioral tissue scaffolds, ultimately resulting in better treatment of patients with oral clefts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number1
Early online date24 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • cleft lip
  • cleft lip and palate
  • collagen fibrils-edge diameter
  • collagen number density
  • fibril-area-fraction
  • ImageJ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • General Dentistry


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