1 M€ Funding for imaging of early osteoarthritis

Professor Miika Nieminen has received a large funding of 1,018 M€ from Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation for the project “Structure-specific MRI characterization of articular cartilage in osteoarthritis”. This is a continued funding for a project previously supported by the same foundation.  

The project will develop new MRI contrasts for the detection of early changes in articular cartilage in osteoarthritis (OA) and related diseases. This will be pursued through particular MRI methodology which is sensitized to slow molecular motion. The methodology, in principle, could be applied to investigate other biological tissues where pathology involves a change in the interaction of water and other tissue constituents.  

According to Miika Nieminen, “Existing clinical MRI techniques are unable to yield information on the early, biochemical tissue changes in early OA, which is both specific to tissue macromolecules within the tissue and pertains to the status of the OA. With the currently developed MRI techniques at hand, we are able to make progress on both of these fronts.”

The project is special in the sense that involves computational modeling of tissue-water interactions, experimental models, as well as implementation on a full clinical MRI setup.

The ultimate aim is to produce a tool for the clinicians and radiologists to identify different stages of OA in a non-invasive and safe way.  

OA remains to be a huge economical burden for the health care and affects the quality of life of millions of people in EU alone.  


More information:

professor Miika Nieminen,  Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics, and Technology (MIPT), University of Oulu,  Tel: +358 40 5518246, email: miika.nieminen@oulu.fi

Photo: Principal investigator of the project professor Miika Nieminen (left) and postdoctoral researcher Matti Hanni who is responsible for the modeling work in the project.



Last updated: 17.4.2020