Co-Principal Investigators Richard Kijowski, M.D., from the Department of Radiology, and Darryl Thelen, Ph.D., from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, were awarded a $370,000 National Institutes of Health grant to study the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis in patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Other collaborators on this grant include Oliver Wieben, Ph.D. from the Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics, Walter Block, Ph.D. from the Department of Medical Physics, and Geoffrey Baer, M.D. from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.
The main hypothesis of the grant is that clinically successful ACL reconstruction surgery does not restore normal knee joint biomechanics and contact patterns, which in turn lead to early cartilage degeneration and the subsequent development of osteoarthritis. The research team will measure knee joint motion and contact patterns in patients with ACL reconstruction and volunteers with healthy knee joints. The team will use the cine VIPR-SPGR technique, and will seek to determine whether changes in joint contact patterns are associated with changes in MRI biomarkers of early cartilage degeneration.