Biphasic indentation of articular cartilage-II. A numerical algorithm and an experimental study

V. C. Mow, M. C. Gibbs, W. M. Lai, W. B. Zhu, K. A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

427 Scopus citations


Part I (Mak et al., 1987, J. Biomechanics 20, 703-714) presented the theoretical solutions for the biphasic indentation of articular cartilage under creep and stress-relaxation conditions. In this study, using the creep solution, we developed an efficient numerical algorithm to compute all three material coefficients of cartilage in situ on the joint surface from the indentation creep experiment. With this method we determined the average values of the aggregate modulus, Poisson's ratio and permeability for young bovine femoral condylar cartilage in situ to be HA = 0.90 MPa, νs = 0.39 and k = 0.44 × 10-15 m4/Ns respectively, and those for patellar groove cartilage to be HA = 0.47 MPa, νs = 0.24, k = 1.42 × 10-15 m4/Ns. One surprising finding from this study is that the in situ Poisson's ratio of cartilage (0.13-0.45) may be much less than those determined from measurements performed on excised osteochondral plugs (0.40-0.49) reported in the literature. We also found the permeability of patellar groove cartilage to be several times higher than femoral condyle cartilage. These findings may have important implications on understanding the functional behavior of cartilage in situ and on methods used to determine the elastic moduli of cartilage using the indentation experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-861
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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