In response to PAR-04-023, participants from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), University of California Berkeley (UCB), Massachusetts general Hospital (MGH) and industry (GeneralElectric, GE) propose a competing renewal of a Bioengineering Research Partnership (BRP) focused on the systematic study of the morphology and function of the musculoskeletal system in disease and health. We hypothesize that high field (3 Testa and 7 Tesla), high resolution, fast MR combined with quantitative tissue assessment, would significantly impact the clinical assessment of musculo-skeletal degeneration and reparative processes, spanning a range of scales, from the tissue to the whole organ. The long- term vision of this partnership is to understand the link between morphology, function and clinical symptoms, with a specific focus on osteoporosis, osteo-arthritis, degenerative disc disease.
The specific aims are:
Aim I : To develop multi-modality imaging tools for in-vitro tissue characterization, including micro-computed tomography, Fourier transform Infra-red imaging for use in characterizing bone, cartilage, intervertebral disc.
Aim II : To develop coils, pulse sequences and reconstruction algorithms for optimized parallel imaging at 3 Tesla for high resolution imaging of bone, cartilage, and intervertebral disc.
Aim III : To develop quantitative MR imaging of trabecular bone, cartilage and intervertebral disc at 7 Tesla.
Aim I V: To develop optimized MR imaging techniques at 3 Tesla and 7 Tesla in rodent models of disc and cartilage degeneration for tracking of iron oxide labeled mesenchymal stem cells in cartilage and disc repair. Dr. Majumdar from UCSF will serve as the PI of the BRP, and will be assisted by a Scientific and Clinical Advisory board. She will focus on the technical developments for musculo-skeletal imaging at high field with Dr. Kelley and Han from GE, and Link from UCSF (for clinical relevance). Dr. Lawrence Wald will serve as the partner from MGH. Dr. Vigneron from UCSF wj 11 serve as the project leader for coil development and testing at UCSF. Dr. Nelson will work closely with the PI in image analysis and processing aspects of the study. The project will involve clinical faculty from Departments of Radiology, Orthopedic Surgery, Bioengineering students and post-doctoral researchers, all focused on advancing clinical evaluation of musculo-skeletal diseases such as osteoporosis, osteo-arthritis and lower back pain.
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