Significant efforts are being devoted to the creation of replacement tissue for repair of defects in articular surfaces. Some success has been realized; yet, the normal zonal characterstics of articular cartilage throughout its thickness and normal material properties have not been reproduced in vitro in scaffolds nor in vivo in repairing defects. The fate of such transplanted scaffolds in vivo may be doomed mechanically from the outset if material properties of sufficient quality are not developed. The superficial tangential zone (STZ) has been shown to play a critical role in supporting axial loads and retaining fluids (Glazer and Putz, 2002, Torzilli, et al, 1983, Torzilli, 1993). Previous models have demonstrated excessive axial deformation of repair cartilage without the STZ (Smith, et al 2001, Wayne, et al, 1991) Additionally, modeling the STZ of normal cartilage as transversely isotropic has yielded better agreement with indentation experimental results than isotropic models (Korhonen, et al, 2002, Mow, et al, 2000, Cohen, et al, 1993). This study uses finite element analysis to model the STZ with a preferred direction parallel to the articulating surface, thereby simulating a “split-line” direction. The in-plane directions are modeled normal to the “split-line” direction and the articulating surface. Normal and repairing defects are modeled with the importance of the STZ emphasized.

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