Imaging is a critically important technology for clinical, translational, cadaveric, and in vivo studies of animal and human disease. Whether the ability to characterize tissue structure or visualize molecular markers in a non-invasive manner, advanced imaging methods have proven to be powerful tools specifically for musculoskeletal applications. Research employing imaging that addresses problems in musculoskeletal injury and repair in humans has a long track record. Further, imaging is recognized to be vital as new evaluation and treatment modalities are developed and used for some of the major degenerative disorders such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis or traumatic injuries such as fractures. The University of Pennsylvania has one of the most comprehensive imaging facilities in the nation, comprised of a complete range of imaging modalities dedicated to basic and translational research in animals and humans. Moreover, it is staffed by some of the leading scientists in the various imaging modalities. A key objective of the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders therefore is to provide an on-campus Imaging Core (IC) to musculoskeletal researchers for imaging of both humans and large and small animals. The overall objective of the IC is to develop and utilize a wide range of imaging techniques directed toward problems of musculoskeletal tissue injury and repair.
The Specific Aims are:
Aim 1 : To provide guidance and expertise on the use of imaging for musculoskeletal research through educational enrichment programs and one-on one interactions.
Aim 2 : To provide a range of imaging resources for the study of structure, function and physiology of the musculoskeletal system in laboratory animals and humans.
Aim 3 : To provide pilot funding for development of new projects and collaborations and for investigators to generate preliminary data.
Successful completion of these Aims will significantly enhance the environment and capabilities of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, leading to novel and innovative approaches to address musculoskeletal disorders and to new collaborations between Core faculty who may not have previously included human and/or animal imaging in their musculoskeletal research programs..
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