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Biophys J. 2009 Dec 16;97(12):3054-64. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.08.058.

A biomechanical triphasic approach to the transport of nondilute solutions in articular cartilage.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Biomechanical models for biological tissues such as articular cartilage generally contain an ideal, dilute solution assumption. In this article, a biomechanical triphasic model of cartilage is described that includes nondilute treatment of concentrated solutions such as those applied in vitrification of biological tissues. The chemical potential equations of the triphasic model are modified and the transport equations are adjusted for the volume fraction and frictional coefficients of the solutes that are not negligible in such solutions. Four transport parameters, i.e., water permeability, solute permeability, diffusion coefficient of solute in solvent within the cartilage, and the cartilage stiffness modulus, are defined as four degrees of freedom for the model. Water and solute transport in cartilage were simulated using the model and predictions of average concentration increase and cartilage weight were fit to experimental data to obtain the values of the four transport parameters. As far as we know, this is the first study to formulate the solvent and solute transport equations of nondilute solutions in the cartilage matrix. It is shown that the values obtained for the transport parameters are within the ranges reported in the available literature, which confirms the proposed model approach.

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