Early imaging of cartilage injury is an important step in joint preservation surgery and the development of new therapeutic strategies to restore and regenerate articular cartilage. Radiographs are the gold standard in osteoarthritis imaging, but indirectly image cartilage. New techniques in quantitative MRI have the ability to directly image the molecular structure of cartilage and predict arthritis development. Our group has engaged in clinical studies working with the National Institute of Health’s Osteoarthritis Initiative to develop classification software to identify imaging biomarkers in recognizing the development of and early progression of arthritis. This work has resulted in a pending United States patent.

Important software developed by our group includes ImageK – A program useful for multimodality rigid registration of three-dimensional MRI images. This is an important pre-processing step in using multiple qMRI image sequences in knee articular cartilage analysis. The software is freely available here. 



Dr. Urish has extensive experience on the role of oxidative stress in the regenerative capacity of adult donor-derived stem cells for muscle, cartilage, bone, and cardiac tissue regeneration. Our group has demonstrated that stem cells have an increased oxidative stress capacity. More importantly, this work demonstrated that the ability to handle oxidative stress directly effects the cell population’s differentiation and regenerative capacity. This work has demonstrated in vitro the possible efficacy of using anti-oxidant compounds and free radical scavengers in the development of stem cell therapies.