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Abstract #1253

Optimum Methods for the Preservation of Cartilage Samples in MR Microimaging Studies

Canuto H, Fishbein K, Camacho N, Bajaj P, Spencer R
National Institutes of Health

Multi-modality cartilage studies often require sample transportation between facilities and significant periods of storage in addition to lengthy MRI experimental times. We investigated four storage solutions and combinations of freezing and cold unfrozen storage to determine an optimal protocol to maintain cartilage homeostasis, reflected by biochemical and MRI-based matrix analyses over a 4 month period. Composition and parameters such as T2 and magnetization transfer rate were best maintained by storage of cartilage samples at 4C with the addition of protease inhibitors, while freezing led to more rapid loss of matrix components and changes in MRI parameters.