Mechano-electrochemical properties of articular cartilage: their inhomogeneities and anisotropies

Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2002;4:175-209. doi: 10.1146/annurev.bioeng.4.110701.120309. Epub 2002 Mar 22.


In this chapter, the recent advances in cartilage biomechanics and electromechanics are reviewed and summarized. Our emphasis is on the new experimental techniques in cartilage mechanical testing, new experimental and theoretical findings in cartilage biomechanics and electromechanics, and emerging theories and computational modeling of articular cartilage. The charged nature and depth-dependent inhomogeneity in mechano-electrochemical properties of articular cartilage are examined, and their importance in the normal and/or pathological structure-function relationships with cartilage is discussed, along with their pathophysiological implications. Developments in theoretical and computational models of articular cartilage are summarized, and their application in cartilage biomechanics and biology is reviewed. Future directions in cartilage biomechanics and mechano-biology research are proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anisotropy
  • Cartilage, Articular / anatomy & histology
  • Cartilage, Articular / chemistry*
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiology*
  • Compressive Strength / physiology
  • Elasticity
  • Electrochemistry
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Porosity
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Weight-Bearing