Hai-Ling Margaret Cheng1,2, Syed S. Islam3, Yasir Loai3, Roula Antoon3, Marine Beaumont1, Walid A. Farhat3
1Research Institute & Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 2Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 3Division of Urology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cell-seeded natural tissue scaffolds hold promise for tissue-engineering large organs (e.g. the urinary bladder matrix for regenerating different tissue types). However, our understanding of cell-natural matrix interaction is limited, and its influence on MRI characterization is unknown. This study explores quantitative MRI at 1.5 T for investigating cell-matrix interaction and matrix development in a smooth muscle cell-seeded bladder model. Competing with cell presence was matrix degradation due to cell-released collagenase, noted for the first time and perhaps unique to natural matrices. Quantitative T1, T2, and diffusion measurements are consistent with collagen breakdown, with multicomponent T2 providing the best specificity.