Mapping the fiber orientation in articular cartilage at rest and under pressure studied by 2H double quantum filtered MRI

Hadassah Shinar, Yoshiteru Seo, Kazuya Ikoma, Yoshiaki Kusaka, Uzi Eliav, Gil Navon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The one-dimensional 2H double quantum filtered (DQF) spectroscopic imaging technique was used to study the orientation of collagen fibers in articular cartilage. The method detects only water molecules in anisotropic environments, which in cartilage is caused by their interaction with the collagen fibers. A large quadrupolar splitting was observed in the calcified zone and a smaller splitting in the radial zone. In the transitional zone the splitting was not resolved and a small splitting was again detected in the superficial zone. From measurements performed at two orientations of the plug relative to the magnetic field it was deduced that in the calcified and radial zones the fibers are oriented perpendicular to the bone, bending at the transitional zone and flattening at the superficial zone. The effect of load applied to the cartilage-bone plug was monitored by the same technique. At low loads there is a small decrease in the quadrupolar splitting in the calcified zone, a marked decrease in the radial zone, and an increase of the splitting accompanied by a thickening of the superficial zone. Under high loads, while the thickening and the splitting of the superficial zone further increase, the splitting in the radial and calcified zones completely collapse. Pressure-induced changes in the thickness of the surface zone indicate flattening of the collagen fibers near the surface. The marked collapse of the splitting near the bone at high pressures may result from crimping of the collagen fibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-330
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Articular cartilage
  • Collagen orientation
  • Compression


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