Under physiological loading, chondrocytes experience environmental changes due to complex mechanical and electrochemical events induced within cartilage. By mechanisms of cell-matrix interactions that remain unclear, chondrocytes perceive and respond to these events resulting in cascades of intracellular signals, and in turn alter their metabolic and biosynthesis activities. Chondrocyte deformation is a major cell response to mechanical load that has been proposed as a direct pathway for cell-matrix interaction and has been investigated in several studies [1–3]. However, the transient deformation of chondrocytes in situ, which is important in understanding the cell-matrix interaction under the viscoelastic response of cartilage, has not been well reported. In this study, we first aimed to measure and investigate the characteristics of the chondrocyte transient deformation within cartilage under the commonly-used unconfined compression test. We then aimed to model the cell inclusion within each specific cartilage specimen utilizing a multi-scale, triphasic finite element framework [4]. Finally the finite element model (FEM) will be used to calculate and perform parametric analyses of the cell transient deformation.

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