Functional properties of native and tissue-engineered cartilage toward understanding the pathogenesis of chondral lesions at the knee: A bovine cadaveric study

Nikolaos K. Paschos, Nikita Lim, Jerry C. Hu, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Chondral lesions frequently occur in different topographic locations of the knee. This study evaluated the functional properties among the articulating surfaces of the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints, and whether neo-cartilage engineered using chondrocytes from different knee locations would reflect these differences. The biomechanical properties of bovine cartilage isolated from eight locations within the tibiofemoral (medial and lateral condyle, medial and lateral tibial plateau) and patellofemoral joints (medial and lateral trochlea, medial and lateral patella) were examined. Tensile Young's moduli (tensile moduli) and aggregate moduli of the medial condyle were lower than those of the medial tibial plateau (6.11±0.89MPa vs. 7.19±1.05MPa, p=0.04 and 354.4±38.3kPa vs. 419.4±31.3kPa, p=0.002, respectively). Patella tensile and compressive moduli were lower than the trochlea (4.79±2.01MPa vs. 6.91±2.46MPa, p=0.01 and 337.4±37.2kPa vs. 389.1±38.3kPa, p=0.0005, respectively). Furthermore, chondrocytes from the above locations were used to engineer neo-cartilage, and its respective properties were evaluated. In neo-cartilage, medial condyle tensile and aggregate moduli were lower than in the medial tibial plateau (0.96±0.23MPa vs. 1.31±0.31MPa, p=0.02, and 115.8±26.0kPa vs. 160.8±18.8kPa, p=0.001, respectively). Compared to trochlear chondrocytes, neo-cartilage formed from patellar chondrocytes exhibited lower tensile and compressive moduli (1.16±0.27MPa vs. 0.74±0.25MPa, p<0.001, and 109.1±24.0kPa vs. 82.5±18.1kPa, p<0.001). A significant degree of disparity in biomechanical properties of the opposing articular surfaces was detected; the medial condyle and patella exhibited inferior properties compared to the opposing medial tibial plateau and trochlea, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2017



  • Biomechanics
  • Cartilage
  • Knee
  • Neo-cartilage
  • Patellofemoral
  • Pathogenesis
  • Tibiofemoral
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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