Mechanical loads have been shown in numerous studies to affect the health of articular cartilage [1]. Regional variations in the local deformation within articular cartilage under both normal and abnormal loading are, however, poorly understood. Understanding these deformation patterns is important, since conditions such as anterior cruciate ligament injury have been suggested to initiate cartilage breakdown by shifting the regions of frequent loading within the joint [2]. Quantifying variations in the deformation behavior of the collagen matrix in cartilage under load will therefore provide insight into the mechanical environment within cartilage and test the feasibility of a kinematic pathway to the initiation of osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the collagen matrix in two regions of cartilage that normally experience different applied loads will deform differently under the same applied load.

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