Using magnetic resonance elastography to assess the dynamic mechanical properties of cartilage

Orlando Lopez, Kimberly Amrami, Phillip Rossman, Richard L. Ehman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This work explored the feasibility of using Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) technology to enable in vitro quantification of dynamic mechanical behavior of cartilage through its thickness. A customized system for MRE of cartilage was designed to include components for adequate generation and detection of high frequency mechanical shear waves within small and stiff materials. The system included components for mechanical excitation, motion encoding, and imaging of small samples. Limitations in sensitivity to motion encoding of high frequency propagating mechanical waves using a whole body coil (i.e. Gmax = 2.2 G/cm) required the design of a local gradient coil system to achieve a gain in gradient strength of at least 5 times. The performance of the new system was tested using various cartilage-mimicking phantom materials. MRE of a stiff 5% agar gelatin phantom demonstrated gains in sensitivity to motion encoding of high frequency mechanical waves in cartilage like materials. MRE of fetal bovine cartilage samples yielded a distribution of shear stiffness within the thickness of the cartilage similar to values found in the literature, hence, suggesting the feasibility of using MRE to non-invasively and directly assess the dynamic mechanical properties of cartilage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventMedical Imaging 2004: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 15 2004Feb 17 2004


  • Cartilage
  • Cartilage mechanics
  • Elastography
  • Local gradient coil
  • MRE
  • Mechanical properties
  • Strong magnetic field gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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