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The overall goal of Professor Burstein's research is to extend the capabilities of MRI to directly evaluate the biophysical and biomechanical properties of the joint tissues, with particular emphasis on cartilage. To that end, she and her colleagues have developed a new MRI method to provide an index of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) concentration in cartilage. GAG is one of the main constituents of cartilage lost in early arthritic disease, and thought to be important to replace as part of therapeutic interventions. This imaging technique has been validated in vitro and in vivo, and should permit regular monitoring of cartilage to evaluate disease progression and therapeutic efficacy in a way not previously possible.
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