Cartilage stress-relaxation proceeds slower at higher compressive strains

Ronald K. June, S. Ly, David P Fyhrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Articular cartilage is the connective tissue which covers bone surfaces and deforms during in vivo activity. Previous research has investigated flow-dependent cartilage viscoelasticity, but relatively few studies have investigated flow-independent mechanisms. This study investigated polymer dynamics as an explanation for the molecular basis of flow-independent cartilage viscoelasticity. Polymer dynamics predicts that stress-relaxation will proceed more slowly at higher volumetric concentrations of polymer. Stress-relaxation tests were performed on cartilage samples after precompression to different strain levels. Precompression increases the volumetric concentration of cartilage biopolymers, and polymer dynamics predicts an increase in relaxation time constant. Stress-relaxation was slower for greater precompression. There was a significant correlation between the stress-relaxation time constant and cartilage volumetric concentration. Estimates of the flow-dependent timescale suggest that flow-dependent relaxation occurs on a longer timescale than presently observed. These results are consistent with polymer dynamics as a mechanism of cartilage viscoelasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


  • Cartilage mechanics
  • Cartilage viscoelasticity
  • Flow-independent viscoelasticity
  • Matrix viscoelasticity
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Polymer dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cartilage stress-relaxation proceeds slower at higher compressive strains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this