Mechanical characterization of tissue-engineered cartilage using microscopic magnetic resonance elastography

Ziying Yin, Thomas M. Schmid, Temel K. Yasar, Yifei Liu, Thomas J. Royston, Richard L. Magin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Knowledge of mechanical properties of tissue-engineered cartilage is essential for the optimization of cartilage tissue engineering strategies. Microscopic magnetic resonance elastography (μMRE) is a recently developed MR-based technique that can nondestructively visualize shear wave motion. From the observed wave pattern in MR phase images the tissue mechanical properties (e.g., shear modulus or stiffness) can be extracted. For quantification of the dynamic shear properties of small and stiff tissue-engineered cartilage, μMRE needs to be performed at frequencies in the kilohertz range. However, at frequencies greater than 1 kHz shear waves are rapidly attenuated in soft tissues. In this study μMRE, with geometric focusing, was used to overcome the rapid wave attenuation at high frequencies, enabling the measurement of the shear modulus of tissue-engineered cartilage. This methodology was first tested at a frequency of 5 kHz using a model system composed of alginate beads embedded in agarose, and then applied to evaluate extracellular matrix development in a chondrocyte pellet over a 3-week culture period. The shear stiffness in the pellet was found to increase over time (from 6.4 to 16.4 kPa), and the increase was correlated with both the proteoglycan content and the collagen content of the chondrocyte pellets (R2=0.776 and 0.724, respectively). Our study demonstrates that μMRE when performed with geometric focusing can be used to calculate and map the shear properties within tissue-engineered cartilage during its development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-619
Number of pages9
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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