Effect of the Variation of Loading Frequency on Surface Failure of Bovine Articular Cartilage

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Abstract

Background: Mechanical loading of synovial joints can damage the articular cartilage surface and may lead to osteoarthritis. It is unknown if, independent of load, frequency alone can cause failure in cartilage. This study investigated the variation of articular cartilage surface damage under frequencies associated with normal, above normal and traumatic loading frequencies. Method: Cartilage on bone, obtained from bovine shoulder joints, was tested. Damage was created on the cartilage surface through an indenter being sinusoidally loaded against it at loading frequencies of 1, 10 and 100 Hz (i.e., relevant to normal, above normal and up to rapid heel-strike rise times, respectively). The frequencies were applied with a maximum load in the range 60–160 N. Surface cracks were marked with India ink, photographed and their length measured using image analysis software. Results: Surface damage increased significantly (P < 0.0001) with frequency throughout all load ranges investigated. The dependence of crack length, c, on frequency, f , could be represented by, c=A(log10(f))2+B(log10(f))+D where A = 0.006 ± 0.23, B = 0.62 ± 0.23 and D = 0.38 ± 0.51 mm (mean ± standard deviation). Conclusion: The increase in crack length with loading frequency indicated that, increased loading frequency can result in cartilage becoming damaged. The results of this study have implications in the early stages of osteoarthritis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2252-8
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Volume23
Issue number12
Early online date12 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Articular cartilage
  • Crack
  • Failure
  • Frequency
  • Mechanical loading
  • Osteoarthritis

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