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An in Situ Dual Indentation and Optimization Method to Determine Mechanical Properties of Articular Cartilage

[+] Author Affiliations
Jonathan E. Pottle, J.-K. Francis Suh

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Paper No. SBC2007-176601, pp. 941-942; 2 pages
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • Keystone, Colorado, USA, June 20–24, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4798-5
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The efficacy of the biphasic poroviscoelastic (BPVE) theory [1] in constitutive modeling of articular cartilage biomechanics is well-established [2–4]. Indeed, this model has been used to simultaneously predict stress relaxation force across confined compression, unconfined compression, and indentation protocols [2,3]. Previous works have also demonstrated success in simultaneously curve-fitting the BPVE model to reaction force and lateral deformation data gathered from stress relaxation tests of articular cartilage in unconfined compression [4]. However, a potential limitation of practical applications of such a successful model is seen in some commonly-employed mechanical testing methods for articular cartilage, such as confined compression and unconfined compression. These methods require the excision of a disk of cartilage from its underlying subchondral base, which likely would compromise the structural integrity of the tissue, causing swelling and curling artifacts of the sample [5]. Indentation represents a testing protocol that can be used with an intact cartilage layer. This results in a specimen more closely resembling cartilage in vivo. Using an agarose gel construct, our previous study [6] has demonstrated that a unique set of the six BPVE model parameters of a soft tissue can be determined readily from in situ dual indentation method using stress relaxation and creep viscoelastic protocols. The objective of the current study is to validate the efficacy of this technique as a means to determine the BPVE material parameters of articular cartilage.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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