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Research Papers

Effect of Static Compressive Strain, Anisotropy, and Tissue Region on the Diffusion of Glucose in Meniscus Fibrocartilage

[+] Author and Article Information
Kelsey L. Kleinhans

Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory,
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
University of Miami,
1251 Memorial Drive, MEA 219,
Coral Gables, FL 33146
e-mail: k.kleinhans@umiami.edu

Lukas M. Jaworski

Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory,
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
University of Miami,
1251 Memorial Drive, MEA 219,
Coral Gables, FL 33146
e-mail: l.jaworski@umiami.edu

Michaela M. Schneiderbauer

Department of Orthopaedics,
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine,
1400 NW 12th Avenue, Room 4056,
Miami, FL 33136
e-mail: MSchneiderbauer@med.miami.edu

Alicia R. Jackson

Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory,
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
University of Miami,
1251 Memorial Drive, MEA 219,
Coral Gables, FL 33146
e-mail: a.jackson2@miami.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received February 25, 2015; final manuscript received July 14, 2015; published online August 10, 2015. Assoc. Editor: James C. Iatridis.

J Biomech Eng 137(10), 101004 (Aug 10, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: BIO-15-1090; doi: 10.1115/1.4031118 History: Received February 25, 2015

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a significant socio-economic concern, affecting millions of individuals each year. Degeneration of the meniscus of the knee is often associated with OA, yet the relationship between the two is not well understood. As a nearly avascular tissue, the meniscus must rely on diffusive transport for nutritional supply to cells. Therefore, quantifying structure–function relations for transport properties in meniscus fibrocartilage is an important task. The purpose of the present study was to determine how mechanical loading, tissue anisotropy, and tissue region affect glucose diffusion in meniscus fibrocartilage. A one-dimensional (1D) diffusion experiment was used to measure the diffusion coefficient of glucose in porcine meniscus tissues. Results show that glucose diffusion is strain-dependent, decreasing significantly with increased levels of compression. It was also determined that glucose diffusion in meniscus tissues is anisotropic, with the diffusion coefficient in the circumferential direction being significantly higher than that in the axial direction. Finally, the effect of tissue region was not statistically significant, comparing axial diffusion in the central and horn regions of the tissue. This study is important for better understanding the transport and nutrition-related mechanisms of meniscal degeneration and related OA in the knee.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the custom-designed chamber for measuring the diffusion coefficient. The metal spacers between the two chamber halves are used to control the amount of uniaxial confined compression on the specimen; that is, the spacer matches the desired compressed height of the tissue (i.e., for a 0.5 mm thick specimen at 0% strain, the spacer is 0.5 mm, while at 10% strain the spacer is changed to 0.45 mm thickness).

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Fig. 3

Correlation between apparent glucose diffusion coefficient and level of compression for three groups investigated: (a) axial horn (A-H), (b) axial central (A-C), and (c) circumferential central (C-C). Significant correlation was detected for all groups; p values and R values are shown for each.

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Fig. 4

SEM images of both axial ((a) and (c)) and circumferential ((b) and (d)) porcine meniscus samples. Images (a) and (b) are magnified 250× with scale bars equaling 200 μm, while (c) and (d) are magnified 1000× with scale bars equaling 50 μm. Note the collagen fiber bundles running in the circumferential direction, thereby allowing for the presence of pores in circumferential specimens that are not apparent in axial specimens. The circle on (b) shows an example of a channel in the circumferential direction with the arrow pointing to (d) showing a magnified version of a channel. The samples were fixed using a 2% glutaraldehyde in PBS solution, dehydrated in a graded series of ethanol (20%, 50%, 70%, 90%, and 100%), and dried by immersion in hexamethyldisilazane.

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Fig. 5

Relationship between tissue water volume fraction, ϕw, and relative diffusion coefficient, Dapp/Do, in meniscus tissues for the three groups investigated: (a) axial, horn; (b) axial, central; and (c) circumferential, central. For all groups, n = 30. P values from regression analysis assuming no constant (i.e., best fit line passing through the origin) are shown for each group.

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Fig. 1

Schematic showing locations and sizes of test specimens. The meniscus was divided into central and horn regions (demarcated by larger dashed lines). From the central region, both axial and circumferential specimens were prepared; only axial specimens were prepared from the horn region. All specimens were cylindrical with a height of ∼0.5 mm and a diameter of 6 mm. Note that axial specimens were taken from the central region of the core of tissue. Samples from both medial and lateral menisci were pooled.

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