Noninvasive monitoring of matrix development in tissue-engineered cartilage constructs would permit ongoing assessment with the ability to modify culture conditions during development to optimize tissue characteristics. In this study, chondrocytes seeded in a collagen hydrogel were exposed for 20min/day to pulsed low-intensity ultrasound (PLIUS) at 30 mWcm-2 and cultured for up to 5 weeks. Biochemical assays, histology, immunohistochemistry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed at weeks 3 and 5 after initiation of growth. The noninvasive MRI measurements were correlated with those from the invasive studies. In particular, MRI transverse relaxation time (T2) and magnetization transfer rate (km) correlated with macromolecular content, which was increased by application of PLIUS. This indicates the sensitivity of MR techniques to PLIUS-induced changes in matrix development, and highlights the potential for noninvasive assessment of the efficacy of anabolic interventions for engineered tissue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering