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J Biomech. 2015 Jun 1;48(8):1397-406. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.02.043. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

A multi-scale finite element model for investigation of chondrocyte mechanics in normal and medial meniscectomy human knee joint during walking.

Author information

1
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland. Electronic address: petri.tanska@uef.fi.
2
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
3
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.

Abstract

Mechanical signals experienced by chondrocytes (articular cartilage cells) modulate cell synthesis and cartilage health. Multi-scale modeling can be used to study how forces are transferred from joint surfaces through tissues to chondrocytes. Therefore, estimation of chondrocyte behavior during certain physical activities, such as walking, could provide information about how cells respond to normal and abnormal loading in joints. In this study, a 3D multi-scale model was developed for evaluating chondrocyte and surrounding peri- and extracellular matrix responses during gait loading within healthy and medial meniscectomy knee joints. The knee joint geometry was based on MRI, whereas the input used for gait loading was obtained from the literature. Femoral and tibial cartilages were modeled as fibril-reinforced poroviscoelastic materials, whereas menisci were considered as transversely isotropic. Fluid pressures in the chondrocyte and cartilage tissue increased up to 2MPa (an increase of 30%) in the meniscectomy joint compared to the normal, healthy joint. The elevated level of fluid pressure was observed during the entire stance phase of gait. A medial meniscectomy caused substantially larger (up to 60%) changes in maximum principal strains in the chondrocyte compared to those in the peri- or extracellular matrices. Chondrocyte volume or morphology did not change substantially due to a medial meniscectomy. Current findings suggest that during walking chondrocyte deformations are not substantially altered due to a medial meniscectomy, while abnormal joint loading exposes chondrocytes to elevated levels of fluid pressure and maximum principal strains (compared to strains in the peri- or extracellular matrices). These might contribute to cell viability and the onset of osteoarthritis.

KEYWORDS:

Articular cartilage; Cell mechanics; Finite element analysis; Knee joint; Meniscectomy; Multi-scale modeling

PMID:
25795269
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.02.043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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