Experimental measurements in conjunction with theoretical predictions were used to determine the extent of load supported by the fluid phase of cartilage at the articular surface. The u-p finite element model was used to simulate the loading of six separate porcine knee joints and to predict surface deformations of the cartilage layer on the lateral femoral condyle. Representative geometry for the condyle, contact pressures, and intrinsic material properties of the cartilage layer were supplied from experimental measures (see Part I). The u-p finite element predictions for surface deformations of the cartilage layer were obtained for several load partitioning states between the solid and fluid phases of cartilage at the articular surface. These were then compared to actual surface deformations obtained experimentally. It appeared from the comparison that approximately 75 percent of the applied load was borne by the fluid phase at the articular surface under this loading regime. This was qualitatively in agreement with the hypothesis that an applied load to articular joints is partitioned at the surface to the two phases according to the surface area ratios of the solid and fluid phases. It appeared that the solid phase was shielded from the total applied stress on the articular surface by the fluid and could be a reason for the excellent durability of the tissue under the demanding conditions in a diarthrodial joint.

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