University of Oulu

Ebrahimi, M., Ojanen, S., Mohammadi, A. et al. Ann Biomed Eng (2019) 47: 953.

Elastic, viscoelastic and fibril-reinforced poroelastic material properties of healthy and osteoarthritic human tibial cartilage

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Author: Ebrahimi, Mohammadhossein1,2; Ojanen, Simo1,2; Mohammadi, Ali1;
Organizations: 1Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
2Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-07-04


Articular cartilage constituents (collagen, proteoglycans, fluid) are significantly altered during osteoarthritis (OA). A fibril-reinforced poroelastic (FRPE) material model can separate the contribution of each constituent on the mechanical response of cartilage. Yet, these properties and their OA related alterations are not known for human tibial cartilage. To answer this gap in the knowledge, we characterized the FRPE as well as elastic and viscoelastic properties of healthy and osteoarthritic human tibial cartilage. Tibial osteochondral explants (n = 27) harvested from 7 cadavers were mechanically tested in indentation followed by a quantification of elastic, viscoelastic and FRPE properties. Then they were histopathologically OARSI graded for the severity of OA. FRPE modeling revealed that non-fibrillar matrix modulus was higher in the healthy group compared to the early OA (p = 0.003) and advanced OA (p < 0.001) groups. The initial fibril network modulus was also higher in the healthy group compared to the early OA (p = 0.009) and advanced OA (p < 0.001) groups. The permeability correlated with the OARSI grade (p = 0.002, r = 0.56). For the first time, the FRPE properties were characterized for human tibial cartilage. This knowledge is crucial to improve the accuracy of computational knee joint models.

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Series: Annals of biomedical engineering
ISSN: 0090-6964
ISSN-E: 1573-9686
ISSN-L: 0090-6964
Volume: 47
Issue: 4
Pages: 953 - 966
DOI: 10.1007/s10439-019-02213-4
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Eastern Finland (UEF) including Kuopio University Hospital. The study received funding from Academy of Finland (Grant 286526), Sigrid Juselius Foundation, and University of Oulu (strategic funding).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.