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Series on BIOMECHANICS   ISSN 1313-2458
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Mechanical and physico-chemical behavior of fresh human lower limbs cartilage in healthy individuals and in patients with osteoarthritis
S. Benhmida, M. Zrida, D. Salhi, A.H. Hamzaoui, H. Essaddam
Abstract: The aim of this work is to define the mechanical behavior and the physicochemical properties of healthy and osteoarthritis cartilage to better understand the origin of osteoarthritis.
The mechanical behavior was identified based on some compression tests. An analysis of the structural properties of the cartilage was performed using the X-ray diffraction and the scanning electron microscopy (SEM). For this purpose, fresh samples of cartilage were used for both healthy individuals and patients with osteoarthritis.
We started by studying the elasticity of human cartilage of the different joints of the lower limbs. The result was that the highest values of the elastic modulus were found in the knee joint and the lowest in the ankles. It has also been shown that there is a difference in the elasticity of the cartilage of the knee between the inner and outer compartments of this joint, however, the internal compartment has the highest elasticity modulus. This difference of elasticity within the same joint stimulates us to analyze the cartilage structure of this material. We noticed that on the external side, the cartilage kept a structure broadly amorphous similar to a healthy one with the appearance of a low crystalline mineralizing phase.
By contrast, within the area of the internal compartment, the crystalline phase, identified by the CaCO3 becomes more intense when it gets closer to the most affected part by the disease. The analysis of the structure of the subchondral bone of the same osteoarthritis joint and another healthy subchondral bone sample showed a similar structure. Osteoarthritis does not affect the structure of the subchondral bone. It can be concluded that osteoarthritis affects the cartilage and then extends to the other joint components.

Series on Biomechanics, Vol.34, No.2 (2020), 30-41

Keywords: cartilage; compression; Osteoarthritis; SEM; Youngs modulus, X-ray diffraction
Date published: 2020-07-01
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