eCite Digital Repository

Conceptual fracture parameters for articular cartilage


Stok, K and Oloyede, A, Conceptual fracture parameters for articular cartilage, Clinical Biomechanics, 22, (6) pp. 725-735. ISSN 0268-0033 (2007) [Refereed Article]

PDF (Final author version)

Copyright Statement

Crown copyright © 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2007.03.005


Background: Superficial cracks can occur in articular cartilage due to trauma or wear and tear. Our understanding of the behaviour of such cracks in a loaded matrix is limited. A notable study investigated the growth of cracks induced in the bottom layer of the matrix. This paper extends existing studies, characterizing the propagation of superficial cracks and matrix resistance under tension at varying rates of loading.

Methods: Cartilage strips with artificially induced superficial cracks were subjected to tensile loading at different loading velocities using a miniature tensile testing device. Load–displacement data, video and still images were recorded for analysis.

Findings: The propagation of superficial cracks in articular cartilage does not follow the classical crack tip advance that is characteristic of most engineering materials. Instead, the crack tip exhibited a negligible movement while the side edges of the crack rotated about it, accompanied by matrix stretching and an upward pull (necking) of the bottom layer of the sample. As loading progresses, the crack edges stretch and rotate to assume a position parallel to the articular surface, followed by the final fracture of the matrix at a point just below the crack tip. Using the recorded mechanical data and images, an analogous poroelastic fracture toughness, KpIc = 1.83 MPa. square root mm (SD 0.8) is introduced.

Interpretation: It is extremely difficult for a superficial crack to propagate through articular cartilage. This may be because of the energy dissipation from the crack due to the movement and exudation of water, and large stretching of the matrix.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:soft tissue fracture, superficial zone cracks, crack propagation in articular cartilage, poroelastic fracture toughness, mechanical damage
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Biomedical engineering
Research Field:Biomechanical engineering
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in engineering
UTAS Author:Stok, K (Dr Kathryn Stok)
ID Code:133039
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2019-06-04
Last Modified:2019-08-08
Downloads:38 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page