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Effect of a degraded core on the mechanical behaviour of tissueengineered cartilage constructs: A poro-elastic finite element analysis

  • Special Section: Biomechanical Interactions in Tissue Engineering and Surgical Repair (BITES)
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The structure and functionality of tissue-engineered cartilage is determined by the tissue culture conditions and mechanical conditioning during growth. The quality of tissue-engineered cartilage can be evaluated using tests such as the confined compression test. Tissue-engineered cartilage constructs usually consist of an outer layer of cartilage and an inner core of either undeveloped cartilage or degrading scaffold material. A biphasic poro-elastic finite element model was used to demonstrate how such a core influences the reaction force-time curve obtained from a confined compression test. The finite element model predicted that higher volumes of degraded scaffold in the inner core would reduce the aggregate modulus calculated from the confined compression test and raised the estimate of tissue permeability. The predicted aggregate modulus reduced from 0.135 MPa, for a homogenous construct, to 0.068 MPa, for a construct that was only 70% cartilaginous. It was found that biphasic poro-elastic finite modelling should be used in preference to a one-dimensional model that assumed homogeneity in estimating the properties of tissue-engineered cartilage.

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Correspondence to P. J. Prendergast.

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Kelly, D.J., Prendergast, P.J. Effect of a degraded core on the mechanical behaviour of tissueengineered cartilage constructs: A poro-elastic finite element analysis. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. 42, 9–13 (2004).

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