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Abstract #0111

Response of Quantitative MRI to Artificial Collagen Cross-linking of Articular Cartilage

Jari Rautiainen 1,2 , Mikko J. Nissi 1,2 , Elli-Noora Salo 3 , Harri Kokkonen 2,4 , Shalom Michaeli 5 , Silvi Mangia 5 , Olli Grhn 6 , Juha Tyrs 2,4 , and Miika T. Nieminen 1,3

1 Medical Research Center Oulu and Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland, 2 Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland, 3 Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland, 4 Diagnostic Imaging Center, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland, 5 Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota, MN, United States, 6 Department of Neurobiology, A.I.Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

Aging of cartilage results in accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), most notably collagen cross-links in cartilage. Increased cross-linking of the collagens makes cartilage more stiff and brittle. In this study, sensitivity of quantitative MRI parameters to artificial collagen cross-linking induced by L-threose in bovine articular cartilage was evaluated. Artificial cross-linking detectably changed the biophysical properties of cartilage which were also detected with MRI parameters. While T2 and dGEMRIC responded to the treatment as expected, T1ρ relaxation time constants showed unexpected increase, possibly attributed to an increased cross-linked fraction characterized by the slow motion or blocking of exchange-mediated relaxation.

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