Onyi Irrechukwu1, Remy Roque1, David Reiter1, Richard Spencer1
1National Instiute on Aging, National
Institutes of Health,
The objective of this study was to use multiexponential analysis of T2 relaxation data to monitor the development of engineered cartilage. Chondrocyte-seeded collagen constructs were studied after 1-4 weeks of culture. Four water compartments were consistently detected; however, an additional compartment, T21-2, emerged in week 4. The two most slowly relaxing components, T23 and T24, loosely associated with macromolecules, decreased with macromolecular synthesis. T22 was assigned to PG monomers and the appearance of T21-2 was consistent with aggregation of these monomers. T21 was assigned to collagen-bound water and its fraction size decreased in week 4, an indication of scaffold degradation.