University of Oulu

Erik Rößler, Carlos Mattea, Siegfried Stapf, Sakari Karhula, Simo Saarakkala, Miika T. Nieminen, Load-dependent NMR low-field profiling and relaxation dispersion study of osteoarthritic articular cartilage, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Volume 269, 2018, Pages 160-165, ISSN 1387-1811,

Load-dependent NMR low-field profiling and relaxation dispersion study of osteoarthritic articular cartilage

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Author: Rößler, Erik1; Mattea, Carlos1; Stapf, Siegfried1;
Organizations: 1Dept. of Technical Physics II, TU Ilmenau, PO Box 100 565, 98684, Ilmenau, Germany
2Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Finland
4Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-09-17


At low magnetic fields, T₁ variation within cartilage represents a robust parameter that is employed to quantify the layered structure in the tissue and is sensitive to factors such as enzymatic degradation, external load, and degeneration such as osteoarthritis. Variable-field relaxometry, on the other hand, provides access to the quadrupolar dips, i.e. enhanced relaxation rates of ¹H particularly at field strengths between 50 and 70 mT, that probe proton-nitrogen interaction and thus the content and local order of macromolecular constituents, namely glycosaminoglycans and collagen. At the same time, an strong overall dispersion of T₁ is observed over the whole accessible range of magnetic fields upward from 0.25 mT.

In this study on 20 human cartilage samples, low-field and variable-field techniques were combined for the first time to correlate corresponding NMR parameters and the response to load with the severity of osteoarthritis. The magnitude of the quadrupolar dips, as well as cartilage thickness obtained from profile measurements, is found to correlate with the severity of osteoarthritis. At the same time, a significant correlation was identified for relaxation time variation before and after uniaxial compression at 0.6 MPa, a typical value for forces appearing in the human knee and hip joint. This finding is of importance since the spatial resolution of 50 μm obtained with the single-sided scanner is about one order of magnitude better than the one in clinical high-field or low-field scanners, thus allowing a much more detailed investigation and yet providing constraints for the interpretation of averaged values obtained with whole-body scanners.

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Series: Microporous and mesoporous materials
ISSN: 1387-1811
ISSN-E: 1873-3093
ISSN-L: 1387-1811
Volume: 269
Pages: 160 - 165
DOI: 10.1016/j.micromeso.2017.02.069
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 220 Industrial biotechnology
3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Funding: Part of this work was supported by the EU Horizon 2020 collaborative project IDentIFY (project number 668119). ER gratefully acknowledges Carl Zeiss Stiftung for the scholarship to pursue his PhD research. MTN is indebted to Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, Finland.
Copyright information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (