Articular cartilage is comprised of macromolecules, proteoglycans, with (charged) chondroitin sulfate side-chains attached to them. The proteoglycans are attached to longer hyaluronic acid chains, trapped within a network of type II collagen fibrils. As a consequence of their relatively long persistence lengths, the number of persistence lengths along the chondroitin sulfate and proteoglycan chains is relatively small, and consequently, the retraction times for these side chains are also quite short. We argue that, as a consequence of this, they will not significantly inhibit the reptation of the hyaluronic acid chains. Scaling arguments applied to this model allow us to show that the shortest of the mechanical relaxation times of cartilage, that have been determined by Fyhrie and Barone to be due to reptation of the hyaluronic acid polymers, should have a dependence on the load, i.e., force per unit interface area P, carried by the cartilage, proportional to P3/2.

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