(302) 831-4863 werrell@udel.edu

Mrignayani Kotecha, PhD, is a Principal Investigator at the University of Illinois at Chicago (IUC), where she has been a key member of the bioengineering faculty since 2010.   In the UIC Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging Laboratory, Dr. Kotecha utilizes her more than 20 years of experience and expertise in NMR spectroscopy and MRI characterization of a variety of biomaterials, applying multiparametric MR imaging for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.  Prior to joining the faculty at UIC, Dr. Kotecha was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), and from 1993-2001, she was a physics faculty member at the Government Model Science College, Jabalpur in India.  Having earned MSc and PhD degrees in physics from the University of Jabalpur (India), Dr. Kotecha is the author of six book chapters and author or co-author of more than 25 peer-reviewed publications.  Dr. Kotecha is the lead editor of the upcoming Wiley book Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Tissue Engineering. She was referred to the workshop steering committee as one of the foremost experts in the use of the non-destructive MRI materials characterization techniques.

Abstract for 2016 Materials Characterization Workshop at UD:

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging Characterization of Biomaterials

The field of biomaterials covers a wide range of engineered materials designed for therapeutic or diagnostic purpose. Engineered tissues are created by seeding appropriate cells in a biocompatible scaffold and differentiating them to the desired lineage using the suitable growth conditions. Each step of tissue engineering, right from choosing optimum cell density and growth conditions to optimizing scaffold properties requires careful considerations. Much progress has been made in the last three decades, however most engineered tissues still lag behind in achieving desirable functional properties. The biggest bottleneck is the availability of non-invasive assessment techniques of engineered tissues at various levels, from cell seeding to post-implantation. The knowledge of tissue microstructure, tissue anisotropy, cell viability, local oxygen pressure, and tissue growth in vitro and in vivo will greatly enhance our ability to produce functional artificial tissues. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful non-invasive technique in the assessment of biomaterials. The visualization and quantitative assessment of tissue microstructure, tissue anisotropy, extracellular matrix production, vascularization, and integration of implanted tissue with the host tissue all can be performed via MRI. MRI offers an array of contrast mechanisms that can probe into biochemical, physical and mechanical properties of artificial tissues. Commonly, MRI uses quantitative water magnetic resonance parameters such as relaxation times T1, T2, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and fractional anisotropy (FA) to assess the various aspects of tissue regeneration. The measurement of these parameters is based on the manipulation of water proton magnetization using radio frequency pulses and magnetic field gradients that are at the heart of all MR image acquisition. In addition, 13C and 23Na magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and MRI have also been used to monitor artificial tissues. In this presentation, I will provide a few examples of MR techniques used in the assessment of artificial iris, cartilage, bone and osteochondral tissues. Finally, I will outline few possible future directions and discuss how MRS and MRI can advance the development in the field of biomaterials.