Biomechanical comparison of menisci from different species and artificial constructsReport as inadecuate

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders

, 14:324

Orthopedics and biomechanics


BackgroundLoss of meniscal tissue is correlated with early osteoarthritis but few data exist regarding detailed biomechanical properties e.g. viscoelastic behavior of menisci in different species commonly used as animal models. The purpose of the current study was to biomechanically characterize bovine, ovine, and porcine menisci each n = 6, midpart of the medial meniscus and compare their properties to that of normal and degenerated human menisci n = 6 and two commercially available artificial scaffolds each n = 3.

MethodsSamples were tested in a cyclic, minimally constraint compression–relaxation test with a universal testing machine allowing the characterization of the viscoelastic properties including stiffness, residual force and relative sample compression. T-tests were used to compare the biomechanical parameters of all samples. Significance level was set at p < 0.05.

ResultsThroughout cyclic testing stiffness, residual force and relative sample compression increased significantly p < 0.05 in all tested meniscus samples. From the tested animal meniscus samples the ovine menisci showed the highest biomechanical similarity to human menisci in terms of stiffness human: 8.54 N-mm ± 1.87, cycle 1; ovine: 11.24 N-mm ± 2.36, cycle 1, p = 0.0528, residual force human: 2.99 N ± 0.63, cycle 1 vs. ovine 3.24 N ± 0.13, cycle 1, p = 0.364 and relative sample compression human 19.92% ± 0.63, cycle 1 vs. 18.72% ± 1.84 in ovine samples at cycle 1, p = 0.162. The artificial constructs -as hypothesized- revealed statistically significant inferior biomechanical properties.

ConclusionsFor future research the use of ovine meniscus would be desirable showing the highest biomechanical similarities to human meniscus tissue. The significantly different biomechanical properties of the artificial scaffolds highlight the necessity of cellular ingrowth and formation of extracellular matrix to gain viscoelastic properties. As a consequence, a period of unloading at least partial weight bearing is necessary, until the remodeling process in the scaffold is sufficient to withstand forces during weight bearing.

KeywordsMeniscus Biomechanics Animal model Meniscus scaffolds Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2474-14-324 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Rainer Burgkart and Thomas Tischer contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Gunther H Sandmann - Christopher Adamczyk - Eduardo Grande Garcia - Stefan Doebele - Andreas Buettner - Stefan Milz - Andr


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