Technical Brief

The Effect of Charge and Mechanical Loading on Antibody Diffusion through the Articular Surface of Cartilage

[+] Author and Article Information
Chris DiDomenico

Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Lawrence J. Bonassar

Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Professor, Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, 149 Weill Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, (607)255-9381

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041768 History: Received April 17, 2018; Revised October 03, 2018


Molecular transport of osteoarthritis (OA) therapeutics within articular cartilage is influenced by many factors, such as solute charge, that have yet to be fully understood. This study characterizes how solute charge influences local diffusion and convective transport of antibodies within the heterogeneous cartilage matrix. Three fluorescently-tagged solutes of varying isoelectric point (pI) (4.7-5.9) were tested in either cyclic or passive cartilage loading conditions. In each case, local diffusivities were calculated based on local fluorescence in the cartilage sample, as observed by confocal microscopy. In agreement with past research, local solute diffusivities within the heterogeneous cartilage matrix were highest around 200-275 µm from the articular surface, but 3-4 times lower at the articular surface and in the deeper zones of the tissue. Transport of all 150 kDa solutes was significantly increased by the application of mechanical loading at 1 Hz, but local transport enhancement was not significantly affected by changes in solute isoelectric point. More positively charged solutes (higher pI) had significantly higher local diffusivities 200-275 µm from the tissue surface, but no other differences were observed. This implies that there are certain regions of cartilage that are more sensitive to changes in solute charge than others, which could be useful for future development of OA therapeutics.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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