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J Biomech. 2014 Jul 18;47(10):2467-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.04.013. Epub 2014 Apr 16.

Deformation of articular cartilage during static loading of a knee joint--experimental and finite element analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, POB 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland. Electronic address: kimmo.halonen@uef.fi.
2
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, POB 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland; Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.
3
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, POB 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland.
4
Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.

Abstract

Novel conical beam CT-scanners offer high resolution imaging of knee structures with i.a. contrast media, even under weight bearing. With this new technology, we aimed to determine cartilage strains and meniscal movement in a human knee at 0, 1, 5, and 30 min of standing and compare them to the subject-specific 3D finite element (FE) model. The FE model of the volunteer׳s knee, based on the geometry obtained from magnetic resonance images, was created to simulate the creep. The effects of collagen fibril network stiffness, nonfibrillar matrix modulus, permeability and fluid flow boundary conditions on the creep response in cartilage were investigated. In the experiment, 80% of the maximum strain in cartilage developed immediately, after which the cartilage continued to deform slowly until the 30 min time point. Cartilage strains and meniscus movement obtained from the FE model matched adequately with the experimentally measured values. Reducing the fibril network stiffness increased the mean strains substantially, while the creep rate was primarily influenced by an increase in the nonfibrillar matrix modulus. Changing the initial permeability and preventing fluid flow through noncontacting surfaces had a negligible effect on cartilage strains. The present results improve understanding of the mechanisms controlling articular cartilage strains and meniscal movements in a knee joint under physiological static loading. Ultimately a validated model could be used as a noninvasive diagnostic tool to locate cartilage areas at risk for degeneration.

KEYWORDS:

Articular cartilage; Computed tomography; Creep; Finite element analysis; Knee joint; Magnetic resonance imaging; Meniscus

PMID:
24813824
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.04.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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