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Computational model for the analysis of cartilage and cartilage tissue constructs

Smith, D.W., Gardiner, B.S., Davidson, J.B. and Grodzinsky, A.J. (2013) Computational model for the analysis of cartilage and cartilage tissue constructs. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 10 (4). pp. 334-347.

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We propose a new non-linear poroelastic model that is suited to the analysis of soft tissues. In this paper the model is tailored to the analysis of cartilage and the engineering design of cartilage constructs. The proposed continuum formulation of the governing equations enables the strain of the individual material components within the extracellular matrix (ECM) to be followed over time, as the individual material components are synthesized, assembled and incorporated within the ECM or lost through passive transport or degradation. The material component analysis developed here naturally captures the effect of time-dependent changes of ECM composition on the deformation and internal stress states of the ECM. For example, it is shown that increased synthesis of aggrecan by chondrocytes embedded within a decellularized cartilage matrix initially devoid of aggrecan results in osmotic expansion of the newly synthesized proteoglycan matrix and tension within the structural collagen network. Specifically, we predict that the collagen network experiences a tensile strain, with a maximum of ~2% at the fixed base of the cartilage. The analysis of an example problem demonstrates the temporal and spatial evolution of the stresses and strains in each component of a self-equilibrating composite tissue construct, and the role played by the flux of water through the tissue.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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