Permeability and shear modulus of articular cartilage in growing mice
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- Berteau, JP., Oyen, M. & Shefelbine, S.J. Biomech Model Mechanobiol (2016) 15: 205. doi:10.1007/s10237-015-0671-3
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Articular cartilage maturation is the postnatal development process that adapts joint surfaces to their site-specific biomechanical demands. Understanding the changes in mechanical tissues properties during growth is a critical step in advancing strategies for orthopedics and for cell- and biomaterial- based therapies dedicated to cartilage repair. We hypothesize that at the microscale, the articular cartilage tissue properties of the mouse (i.e., shear modulus and permeability) change with the growth and are dependent on location within the joint. We tested cartilage on the medial femoral condyle and lateral femoral condyle of seven C57Bl6 mice at different ages (2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, and 17 weeks old) using a micro-indentation test. Results indicated that permeability decreased with age from 2 to 17 weeks. Shear modulus reached a peak at the end of the growth (9 weeks). Within an age group, shear modulus was higher in the MFC than in the LFC, but permeability did not change. We have developed a method that can measure natural alterations in cartilage material properties in a murine joint, which will be useful in identifying changes in cartilage mechanics with degeneration, pathology, or treatment.