Tissue engineering (TE) has been introduced for more than 25 years without a boom in clinical trials. More than 70 TE-related start-up companies spent more than $600 million/year, with only two FDA-approved tissue-engineered products. Given the modest performance in clinically approved organs, TE is a tenaciously promising field. The TE community is advocating the application of clinically driven methodologies in large animal models enabling clinical translation. This challenge is hindered by the scarcity of tissue biopsies and the absence of standardized evaluation tools, but can be negated through non-invasive assessment of growth and integration, with reduced sample size and low cost. Solving this issue will speed the transition to cost-efficient clinical studies. In this paper we: (a) introduce magnetic resonance elastography to the tissue-engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM) community; (b) review recent MRE applications in TERM; and (c) discuss future directions of MRE in TERM. We have used MRE to study engineered tissues both in vitro and in vivo, where the mechanical properties of mesenchymally derived constructs were progressively monitored before and after tissues were implanted in mouse models. This study represents a stepping stone toward the applications of MRE in directing clinical trials with low cost and likely expediting the translation to more relevantly large animal models and clinical trials.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/shadi-othman/4/