Characterization of the dynamic shear properties of hyaline cartilage using high-frequency dynamic MR elastography

Orlando Lopez, Kimberly K. Amrami, Armando Manduca, Richard L. Ehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


This work evaluated the feasibility of dynamic MR Elastography (MRE) to quantify structural changes in bovine hyaline cartilage induced by selective enzymatic degradation. The ability of the technique to quantify the frequency-dependent response of normal cartilage to shear in the kilohertz range was also explored. Bovine cartilage plugs of 8 mm in diameter were used for this study. The shear stiffness (μs) of each cartilage plug was measured before and after 16 hr of enzymatic treatments by dynamic MRE at 5000 Hz of shear excitation. Collagenase and trypsin were used to selectively affect the collagen and proteoglycans contents of the matrix. Additionally, normal cartilage plugs were tested by dynamic MRE at shear-excitations of 3000-7000 Hz. Measured μs of cartilage plugs showed a significant decrease (-37%, P < 0.05) after collagenase treatment and a significant decrease (-28%, P < 0.05) after trypsin treatment. Furthermore, a near-linear increase (R2 = 0.9141) in the speed of shear wave propagation with shear-excitation frequency was observed in cartilage, indicating that wave speed is dominated by viscoelastic effects. These experiments suggest that dynamic MRE can provide a sensitive quantitative tool to characterize the degradation process and viscoelastic behavior of cartilage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-364
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Articular cartilage
  • Cartilage viscoelasticity
  • Magnetic resonance elastography
  • Tissue characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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