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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2009;2009:509848. doi: 10.1155/2009/509848. Epub 2009 Jul 26.

Effects of condylar elastic properties to temporomandibular joint stress.

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Department of General Dentistry & Emergency, School of Stomatology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an 710032, China.


Mandibular condyle plays an important role in the growth and reconstruction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). We aimed to obtain orthotropic elastic parameters of the condyle using a continuous-wave ultrasonic technique and to observe the effects of condylar elastic parameters on stress distribution of the TMJ using finite element analysis (FEA). Using the ultrasonic technique, all nine elastic parameters were obtained, which showed that the mandibular condyle was orthotropic. With the condyle defined as orthotropic, the occlusal stress was transferred fluently and uniformly from the mandible to the TMJ. The stress distribution in the isotropic model showed stepped variation among different anatomical structures with higher stress values in the cartilage and condyle than in the orthotropic model. We conclude that anisotropy has subtle yet significant effects on stress distribution of the TMJ and could improve the reality of simulations.

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