Effects of Friction on the Unconfined Compressive Response of Articular Cartilage: A Finite Element Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
Robert L. Spilker, Jun-Kyo Suh

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, and Mechanics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180

Van C. Mow

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032

J Biomech Eng 112(2), 138-146 (May 01, 1990) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2891164 History: Received May 25, 1988; Revised January 02, 1990; Online March 17, 2008


A finite element analysis is used to study a previously unresolved issue of the effects of platen-specimen friction on the response of the unconfined compression test; effects of platen permeability are also determined. The finite element formulation is based on the linear KLM biphasic model for articular cartilage and other hydrated soft tissues. A Galerkin weighted residual method is applied to both the solid phase and the fluid phase, and the continuity equation for the intrinsically incompressible binary mixture is introduced via a penalty method. The solid phase displacements and fluid phase velocities are interpolated for each element in terms of unknown nodal values, producing a system of first order differential equations which are solved using a standard numerical finite difference technique. An axisymmetric element of quadrilateral cross-section is developed and applied to the mechanical test problem of a cylindrical specimen of soft tissue in unconfined compression. These studies show that interfacial friction plays a major role in the unconfined compression response of articular cartilage specimens with small thickness to diameter ratios.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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