Permeability is defined as the ability of a fluid to pass through a porous medium. The ease of water movement is a determinant of the interstitial fluid flow-dependent viscoelastic properties of hydrated soft tissues and also modulates transport of solutes. For articular cartilage, permeability has been quantified directly via permeation experiments and indirectly by analyzing the data from stress relaxation testing under confined compression. It is unclear whether these different methods result in consistent measurements. This further complicates quantification of the effect of an experimental treatment on permeability such as the removal of sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) [1, 2]. The objective of this study was to elucidate the impact of sulfated GAGs on the permeability of articular cartilage using direct permeation versus stress relaxation testing, and to assess any differences in permeability calculated from the two test methods.

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