A microstructural model of cartilage was developed to investigate the relative contribution of tissue matrix components to its elastostatic properties. Cartilage was depicted as a tensed collagen lattice pressurized by the Donnan osmotic swelling pressure of proteoglycans. As a first step in modeling the collagen lattice, two-dimensional networks of tensed, elastic, interconnected cables were studied as conceptual models. The models were subjected to the boundary conditions of confined compression and stress–strain curves and elastic moduli were obtained as a function of a two-dimensional equivalent of swelling pressure. Model predictions were compared to equilibrium confined compression moduli of calf cartilage obtained at different bath concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 0.50 M NaCl. It was found that a triangular cable network provided the most consistent correspondence to the experimental data. The model showed that the cartilage collagen network remained tensed under large confined compression strains and could therefore support shear stress. The model also predicted that the elastic moduli increased with increasing swelling pressure in a manner qualitatively similar to experimental observations. Although the model did not preclude potential contributions of other tissue components and mechanisms, the consistency of model predictions with experimental observations suggests that the cartilage collagen network, prestressed by proteoglycan swelling pressure, plays an important role in supporting compression. [S0148-0731(00)00704-4]
A Microstructural Model of Elastostatic Properties of Articular Cartilage in Confined Compression
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Bioengineering Division April 22, 1999; revised manuscript received March 30, 2000. Associate Technical Editor: L. J. Soslowsky.
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Bursac´, P., McGrath , C. V., Eisenberg , S. R., and Stamenovic´, D. (March 30, 2000). "A Microstructural Model of Elastostatic Properties of Articular Cartilage in Confined Compression ." ASME. J Biomech Eng. August 2000; 122(4): 347–353. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1286561
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