Ziying Yin1, Thomas M. Schmid2, Lawrence Madsen2, Mrignayani Kotecha1, Richard L. Magin1
1Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States; 2Department of Biochemistry, Rush University, Chicago, IL, United States
Noninvasive assessment of tissue-engineered cartilage is essential to optimize the production of neocartilage with appropriate biochemical properties for implantation; MRI is ideally suited to this. One approach to regenerating cartilage involves culturing chondrocytes in scaffold-free pellet culture. In this study, we used MRI to evaluate the scaffold-free chondrocyte pellets over a 4-week period, and observed the distinct changes in histograms of T2, T1, T1 and apparent diffusion coefficient, which were correlated with the results of biochemical determination of proteoglycan and collagen from the pellets. The results suggest that MRI could be used to assess specific biochemical properties of engineered cartilage.