Mathematical Analysis of Stress Relaxation in Articular Cartilage During Compression
Mow, Van C.
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Articular cartilage is the avascular bearing material covering the articulating ends of the mating bony segments of synovial joints. Functionally articular cartilage provides a near frictionless surface, whose coefficient of friction 0.002, which is tough and wear resistant. These biomechanical functions of the tissue are preserved so long as the tissue is maintained in a normal physiological state. The destruction and subsequent loss of articular cartilage as a result of degenerative joint diseases would lead to joint stiffness, pain and deformities. An abnormal state of mechanical stress exerted upon the tissue is an initiating factor or at least a precursor of chondrodegeneration . The morphology of pre-clinical ultrastructural damage, resulting from biomechanical causes, of the surface collage fibers from human femoral heads have been investigated and codified . These alterations are believed to be mechanically induced and are related therefore to the inherent mechanical properties of the tissue.