Noninvasive dualMRI-based strains vary by depth and region in human osteoarthritic articular cartilage

A. J. Griebel, S. B. Trippel, C. P. Neu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To noninvasively assay the mechanical and structural characteristics of articular cartilage from patients with osteoarthritis (OA) by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and to further relate spatial patterns of MRI-based mechanical strain to joint (depth-wise, regional) locations and disease severity. Methods: Cylindrical osteochondral explants harvested from human tissue obtained during total knee replacement surgery were loaded in unconfined compression and 2D deformation data was acquired at 14.1 T using a displacements under applied loading by MRI (dualMRI) approach. After imaging, samples were histologically assessed for OA severity. Strains were determined by depth, and statistically analyzed for dependence on region in the joint and OA severity. Results: Von Mises, axial, and transverse strains were highly depth-dependent. After accounting for other factors, Von Mises, axial, and shear strains varied significantly by region, with largest strain magnitudes observed in explants harvested from the tibial plateau and anterior condyle near exposed bone. Additionally, in all cases, strains in late-stage OA were significantly greater than either early- or mid-stage OA. Transverse strain in mid-stage OA explants, measured near the articular surface, was significantly higher than early-stage OA explants. Conclusion: dualMRI was demonstrated in human OA tissue to quantify the effects of depth, joint region, and OA severity, on strains resulting from mechanical compression. These data suggest dualMRI may possess a wide range of utility, such as validating computational models of soft tissue deformation, assaying changes in cartilage function over time, and perhaps, once implemented for cartilage imaging in vivo, as a new paradigm for diagnosis of early- to mid-stage OA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-400
Number of pages7
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Deformation and strain
  • Depth-dependent
  • Displacements under applied loading by MRI (dualMRI)
  • Human articular cartilage
  • Osteoarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rheumatology

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