Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Engineering (Biomedical Engineering), Under the Supervision of Professor Shadi F. Othman. Lincoln, Nebraska: October, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Vahid Khalilzad-Sharghi


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) are increasingly under investigation to explore their potential role in establishing effective evaluation methods for the procedure of tissue regeneration carried out in vitro, in vivo, and in disease diagnosis. To this end, there is a continuous pursuit of novel tools both in vitro and in vivo. For instance, there is a great need for the development and evaluation of an MR-compatible incubation system that enables simultaneous monitoring and culturing of cell and tissue constructs using MRI techniques. Such an imagingcompatible incubation system eliminates exposing the culture to the risks of temperature shock, sample contamination, and handling/stress during evaluation tests. Samples, therefore, are not wasted, and can be implanted in animal models for following in vivo experiments. While in vitro tissue engineering studies allow for extraction of useful information, the experimental conditions cannot be truly replicated in the in vivo environment. Animal models, therefore, are critical to assess and characterize the regeneration of the engineered tissues. Furthermore, continuous observation of regenerating tissues using imaging modalities can lead to a decreased number of animals, where each animal acts as its own control.

Advisor: Shadi F. Othman