Onyi Irrechukwu1, Sarah von-Thaer1, Eliot Frank2, David Reiter1, Alan Grodzinsky2, Richard Spencer1
1National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States
The objective of this study was to correlate the components and fractions determined from multiexponential analysis of cartilage transverse relaxation with tissue mechanical properties. Analysis was performed on bulk T2 relaxation data obtained from bovine nasal cartilage explants. Identical explants were mechanically tested in unconfined compression to determine matrix dynamic and equilibrium moduli. Four relaxation components, interpreted in terms of tissue water compartments, were detected in all explants. Compressive moduli were positively correlated with fractions representing macromolecules and negatively correlated with macromolecular component T2 values. This is consistent with increased stiffness resulting from increasing macromolecular concentration and decreasing water mobility.