Articular cartilage is known to be a viscoelastic material, however little research has explored the impact of cartilage water content and bone density on its viscoelasticity. This study aimed to isolate subchondral bone density and hydration of articular cartilage and analyse their effects on the viscoelastic properties of articular cartilage.
Dynamic mechanical analysis was used to test samples at frequencies of 1, 8, 12, 29, 49, 71, and 88 Hz. Synthetic bone material with densities of 663.7 kg/m3 29 and 156.8 kg/m3 were used to mimic the bone mineral density (BMD). Dehydration occurred in a stepwise manner at relative humidity (RH) levels of 100%, 30%, and 1%. These relative humidity levels led to water contents of approximately 76%, 8.5%, and ≈0 % by mass, respectively
Samples from eight bovine femoral heads were tested under a sinusoidal load. Storage stiffness was lower on the lower substrate density. Storage stiffness, though, increased as cartilage samples were dehydrated from a water content of 76% to 8.5%; decreasing again as the water content was further reduced. Loss stiffness was lower on a lower density substrate and decreased as the water content decreased.
In conclusion, a decrease in hydration decreases the loss stiffness, but a non-linear relationship between hydration and storage stiffness may exist. Additionally, higher BMD values led to greater storage and loss stiffnesses.
- Articular cartilage
- Bone density
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Analysis of hydration and subchondral bone density on the viscoelastic properties of bovine articular cartilage
Crolla, J. P. (Contributor), Lawless, B. M. (Contributor), Cederlund, A. A. (Contributor), Aspden, R. (Contributor) & Espino, D. M. (Contributor), figshare Academic Research System, 1 Jan 2022