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I dedicate this book to my parents 镇澳 and 钺, for their unconditional love and unwavering support during the turbulent years during which I and my sister Xing 星 grew up in Shanghai, China, and to my wonderful children Aimee 怡元 and Derek 怡康, who make this project worthwhile.

I owe a great debt to the late Sir Paul T. Callaghan (Massey University, New Zealand) who taught me the art and science of NMR microscopy (µMRI); and to Lynn W. Jelinski, George Lust, Nancy Burton-Wurster and Tony Farquhar (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA) who first introduced and supported me during my initial detour into the world of cartilage research.

In my own cartilage journey at Oakland University since 1994, I am very grateful for the beautiful works of my PhD students (Jonathan B. Moody, Hisham A. Alhadlaq, Ji-Hyun Lee, Farid Badar, Daniel J. Mittelstaedt and David J. Kahn); the mutual education of my former postdocs and technical personnel (Nagarajan Ramakrishnan, Aruna Bidthanapally, ShaoKuan Zheng, JianHua Yin, Matthew Szarko and Nian Wang); and the stimulating exchange of many visiting and sabbatical scientists to my lab (Paul T. Callaghan, Hisham A. Alhadlaq, Ekrem Cicek, RanHong Xie, ZhiGuo Zhuang and Zhe Chen). I have also benefited in my cartilage research from collaboration and interaction with many professional colleagues (John R. Matyas, Christopher T. Chen, JianRong Xu, Jia Hua, Yong Lu, Siegfried Stapf, XiangGui Qu, Quan Jiang, Clifford M. Les, Mei Lu, Hani N. Sabbah, Yener N. Yeni, Ken Elder, Fay Hansen, Jia Li, Edith Chopin, Loan Dang, Andrew Goldberg, Shravan Chintala, Anil N. Shetty, Joseph Guettler, Tristan Maerz, Jiani Hu, Weiping Ren, MaoSheng Xu, TuQiang Xie, Janelle Spann, Dieter Gross, Rao Bidthanapally, Fred R. Nelson, Douglas Creighton and Bradley Roth). I would not be able to travel very far on this journey without you—any of you.

I am grateful for the four 5-year R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH NIAMS) to my lab, much internal support from the Research Excellence Fund in Biotechnology and the Center for Biomedical Research at Oakland University, the Department of Physics at Oakland University, and an NMR instrument endorsement from R.B. and J.N. Bennett (Oakland University), which have enabled the initiation and continuation of my cartilage adventure at Oakland University.

Yang Xia (夏阳)

Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA

To paraphrase (rather loosely) Miguel de Cervantes, “Tell me who your teachers are and I will tell who you are”. As scientists, we are to a large extent the products of our scientific mentors. I would like to acknowledge mine: F. Ann Walker and Michael Barfield, who introduced me to magnetic resonance during my PhD; Charles S. Johnson Jr, who taught me a lot of what I know about diffusion and diffusion measurements; and Philip W. Kuchel, who introduced me to the fascinating world of NMR of biological tissues.

I would like to acknowledge my colleagues and collaborators at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), who have collectively built the vibrant and stimulating environment for tissue and biomaterials research. James M. Pope founded the QUT MRI laboratory and was instrumental in both bringing me to QUT and introducing me to MRI of articular cartilage. Mark J. Pearcy has provided tireless leadership of biomedical engineering research here. R. Mark Wellard contributed his expertise in NMR electronics and the network of industry contacts to keep the QUT MRI lab on track. Kunle Oloyede (now the Vice-Chancellor of Elizade University, Nigeria) has brought cartilage biomechanics research to QUT. Michael A. Schuetz (now the Chair of Trauma Surgery at Charité Hospital, Berlin) and Ross W. Crawford were the first clinicians at QUT to build a bridge between orthopaedic surgical practice and imaging research. Dietmar Hutmacher, Daniela Loessner, Mia Woodruff, Yin Xiao, Rik Thompson, Clayton Adam and Paige Little have all contributed to creating the nexus between the physics of MRI, biomaterials and biomedical research. Each of these collaborators has taught me something new and greatly contributed to my magnetic resonance- and cartilage-related research.

Last but not least, I would like to acknowledge members of my research group, past and present: Sean K. Powell, Monique C. Tourell, Sirisha Tadimalla, Tonima Ali, Jean-Philippe Ravasio, Monika Madhavi Wisman Acharige, Samuel Guesné, Chris Bell, Aaron Tranter, Nerina Foley, Ying Chi Mui, Hassan Hawsawi, Wilson Egadwa, Sabrina Barheine, Alf Pawlik, Pierre Baugnon and Amaury Bruneau. Many of you have contributed directly to the cartilage research in my group; others were involved in different research projects; but all of you have sustained and enriched the intellectual and research atmosphere within the group through your enthusiasm, hard work and scientific curiosity. I thank every one of you for this.

Konstantin Momot

QUT, Brisbane, Australia

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