Analysis of biphasic lubrication of articular cartilage loaded by cylindrical indenter

Nobuo Sakai, Yuichiro Hagihara, Tsukasa Furusawa, Natsuko Hosoda, Yoshinori Sawae, Teruo Murakami

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Combination of theoretical biphasic analyses and corresponding experimental measurements for articular cartilage has successfully revealed the fundamental material properties and time-depending mechanical behaviors of articular cartilage containing plenty of water. The insight of load partitioning between solid and fluid phases advanced the prediction of the frictional behavior of articular cartilage. One of the recent concerns about biphasic finite element (FE) analysis seems to be a dynamic and physiological condition in terms of mechanical functionality as a load-bearing for articular joint system beyond material testing, which has mainly focused on time-dependent reaction force and deformation in relatively small and low speed compression. Recently, the biphasic FE model for reciprocating sliding motion was applied to confirm the frictional effect on the migrating contact area. The results indicated that the model of a cylindrical indenter sliding over the cartilage surface remarkably sustained the higher proportion of fluid load support than a condition without migrating contact area, but the effectiveness of constitutive material properties has not been sufficiently evaluated for sliding motion. In our present study, at the first stage, the compressive response of the articular cartilage was examined by high precision testing machine. Material properties for the biphasic FE model, which included inhomogeneous apparent Young's modulus of solid phase along depth, strain-dependent permeability and collagen reinforcement in tensile strain, were estimated in cylindrical indentation tests by the curve fitting between the experimental time-dependent behavior and FE model simulation. Then, the biphasic lubrication mechanism of the articular cartilage including migrating contact area was simulated to elucidate functionality as a load-bearing material. The results showed that the compaction effect on permeability of solid phase was functional particularly in the condition without the migrating contact area, whereas in sliding condition the compaction effect did not clearly show its role in terms of the proportion of fluid load support. The reinforcement of solid phase, which represented the collagen network in the tissue, improved the proportion of fluid load support especially in the sliding condition. Thus, a functional integration of constitutive mechanical properties as a load-bearing was evaluated by FE model simulation in this study.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)225-236
    Number of pages12
    JournalTribology International
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Surfaces and Interfaces
    • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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