Biomechanical properties and dynamic response of soft tissues as articular cartilage remains issues for attention. Currently, linear isotropic models are still used for cartilage analysis in spite of its viscoelastic nature. Therefore, the aim of this study was to propose a nonlinear viscoelastic model for cartilage indentation that combines the geometrical parameters and velocity of the indentation test with the thickness of the sample as well as the mechanical properties of the tissue changing over time due to its viscoelastic behavior. Parameters of the indentation test and mechanical properties as a function of time were performed in Laplace space where the constitutive equation for viscoelasticity and the convolution theorem was applied in addition with the Maxwell model and Hayes et al. model for instantaneous elastic modulus. Results of the models were compared with experimental data of indentation tests on osteoarthritic cartilage of a unicompartmental osteoarthritis cases. The models showed a strong fit for the axial indentation nonlinear force in the loading curve (R2 = 0.992) and a good fit for unloading (R2 = 0.987), while an acceptable fit was observed in the relaxation curve (R2 = 0.967). These models may be used to study the mechanical response of osteoarthritic cartilage to several dynamical and geometrical test conditions.

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