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J Biomech. 2016 Jun 14;49(9):1734-1741. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.04.002. Epub 2016 Apr 16.

Highly nonlinear stress-relaxation response of articular cartilage in indentation: Importance of collagen nonlinearity.

Author information

1
Department of Applied physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland. Electronic address: Janne.Makela@uef.fi.
2
Department of Applied physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; Diagnostic Imaging Center, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.

Abstract

Modern fibril-reinforced computational models of articular cartilage can include inhomogeneous tissue composition and structure, and nonlinear mechanical behavior of collagen, proteoglycans and fluid. These models can capture well experimental single step creep and stress-relaxation tests or measurements under small strains in unconfined and confined compression. Yet, it is known that in indentation, especially at high strain velocities, cartilage can express highly nonlinear response. Different fibril reinforced poroelastic and poroviscoelastic models were used to assess measured highly nonlinear stress-relaxation response of rabbit articular cartilage in indentation. Experimentally measured depth-dependent volume fractions of different tissue constituents and their mechanical nonlinearities were taken into account in the models. In particular, the collagen fibril network was modeled using eight separate models that implemented five different constitutive equations to describe the nonlinearity. These consisted of linear elastic, nonlinear viscoelastic and multiple nonlinear elastic representations. The model incorporating the most nonlinearly increasing Young׳s modulus of collagen fibrils as a function of strain captured best the experimental data. Relative difference between the model and experiment was ~3%. Surprisingly, the difference in the peak forces between the experiment and the model with viscoelastic collagen fibrils was almost 20%. Implementation of the measured volume fractions did not improve the ability of the model to capture the measured mechanical data. These results suggest that a highly nonlinear formulation for collagen fibrils is needed to replicate multi-step stress-relaxation response of rabbit articular cartilage in indentation with high strain rates.

KEYWORDS:

Articular cartilage; Collagen; Finite element analysis; Knee joint; Optimization

PMID:
27130474
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.04.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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