BME Seminar Series: In Vivo Joint Function and Dysfunction: Implications for Early Onset Osteoarthritis

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
8:30 a.m.

River Campus | Robert B. Goergen Hall | Sloan Auditorium (room 101)

Speaker: Dr. Louis E. DeFrate, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center

Mechanical loading plays a critical role in maintaining the health and function of articular cartilage. Normal cartilage loading is believed to help maintain cartilage homeostasis, while altered cartilage loading (due to factors such as obesity, joint injury, and malalignment) is believed to play a role in the degradation of cartilage. Thus, understanding the local, in vivo mechanical environment of cartilage in response to normal and pathological conditions could provide critical insights into the mechanisms contributing to osteoarthritis. However, there is limited data characterizing the local mechanical environment of cartilage in vivo. While gait analysis studies provide important information characterizing the total load transferred through the joint, it may be difficult to predict the local tissue response of cartilage from these measurements. In this regard, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques provide the potential to provide additional measurements of the changes in the morphology, deformation, and composition of cartilage in vivo to gain insights into the mechanisms leading to osteoarthritis. To this end, this talk will discuss recent advances in the measurement of in vivo cartilage function using imaging techniques such as biplanar radiography and MR. These advances are likely to provide important information that to enhance our understanding of mechanisms predisposing the joint to the development and progression of osteoarthritis. Ultimately, understanding these mechanisms is important to developing new interventions aimed at the prevention of osteoarthritis.