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Open AccessArticle

Osteoarthritis Severely Decreases the Elasticity and Hardness of Knee Joint Cartilage: A Nanoindentation Study

1
Center for Advanced Technology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 10 Street, 61-614 Poznan, Poland
2
Faculty of Chemistry, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 8 Street, 61-614 Poznan, Poland
3
Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 28 czerwca 1956r. Street No. 135/147, 61-545 Poznan, Poland
4
Department of Physics, Institute of Experimental Physics, Freie Universität, Arnimallee 14, 14195 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(11), 1865; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8111865
Received: 16 September 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 3 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cartilage Repair and Restorative Procedures)
The nanoindentation method was applied to determine the elastic modulus and hardness of knee articular cartilage. Cartilage samples from both high weight bearing (HWB) and low weight bearing (LWB) femoral condyles were collected from patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA). The mean elastic modulus of HWB cartilage was 4.46 ± 4.44 MPa in comparison to that of the LWB region (9.81 ± 8.88 MPa, p < 0.001). Similarly, the hardness was significantly lower in HWB tissue (0.317 ± 0.397 MPa) than in LWB cartilage (0.455 ± 0.434 MPa, p < 0.001). When adjusted to patients’ ages, the mean elastic modulus and hardness were both significantly lower in the age group over 70 years (p < 0.001). A statistically significant difference in mechanical parameters was also found in grade 3 and 4 OA. This study provides an insight into the nanomechanical properties of the knee articular cartilage and provides a starting point for personalized cartilage grafts that are compatible with the mechanical properties of the native tissue.
Keywords: articular cartilage; osteoarthritis; elastic modulus; mechanical properties; nanoindentation articular cartilage; osteoarthritis; elastic modulus; mechanical properties; nanoindentation
MDPI and ACS Style

Mieloch, A.A.; Richter, M.; Trzeciak, T.; Giersig, M.; Rybka, J.D. Osteoarthritis Severely Decreases the Elasticity and Hardness of Knee Joint Cartilage: A Nanoindentation Study. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 1865.

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