University of Oulu

Ebrahimi, M., Turunen, M.J., Finnilä, M.A. et al. Structure–Function Relationships of Healthy and Osteoarthritic Human Tibial Cartilage: Experimental and Numerical Investigation. Ann Biomed Eng 48, 2887–2900 (2020).

Structure–function relationships of healthy and osteoarthritic human tibial cartilage : experimental and numerical investigation

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Author: Ebrahimi, Mohammadhossein1,2; Turunen, Mikael J.1,3; Finnilä, Mikko A.2;
Organizations: 1Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, POB 1627, 70211, Kuopio, Finland
2Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3SIBlabs, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
4Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
5Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-01-20


Relationships between composition, structure and constituent-specific functional properties of human articular cartilage at different stages of osteoarthritis (OA) are poorly known. We established these relationships by comparison of elastic, viscoelastic and fibril-reinforced poroelastic mechanical properties with microscopic and spectroscopic analysis of structure and composition of healthy and osteoarthritic human tibial cartilage (n = 27). At a low frequency (0.005 Hz), proteoglycan content correlated negatively and collagen content correlated positively with the phase difference (i.e. tissue viscosity). At a high-frequency regime (> 0.05 Hz), proteoglycan content correlated negatively and collagen orientation angle correlated positively with the phase difference. Proteoglycans were lost in the early and advanced OA groups compared to the healthy group, while the superficial collagen orientation angle was greater only in the advanced OA group compared to the healthy group. Simultaneously, the initial fibril network modulus (fibril pretension) was smaller in the early and advanced OA groups compared to the healthy group. These findings suggest different mechanisms contribute to cartilage viscosity in low and high frequencies, and that the loss of superficial collagen pretension during early OA is due to lower tissue swelling (PG loss), while in advanced OA, both collagen disorganization and lower swelling modulate the collagen fibril pretension.

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Series: Annals of biomedical engineering
ISSN: 0090-6964
ISSN-E: 1573-9686
ISSN-L: 0090-6964
Volume: 48
Issue: 12
Pages: 2887 - 2900
DOI: 10.1007/s10439-020-02559-0
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
217 Medical engineering
220 Industrial biotechnology
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