Modeling of constrained articular cartilage growth in an intact knee with focal knee resurfacing metal implant

Biomech Model Mechanobiol. 2014 Jun;13(3):599-613. doi: 10.1007/s10237-013-0521-0. Epub 2013 Aug 17.


The purpose of the present study was to develop a model to simulate the articular cartilage growth in an intact knee model with a metal implant replacing a degenerated portion of the femoral cartilage. The human knee joint was approximated with a simplified axisymmetric shape of the femoral condyle along with the cartilage, meniscus and bones. Two individually growing constituents (proteoglycans and collagen) bound to solid matrix were considered in the solid phase of the cartilage. The cartilage behavior was modeled with a nonlinear biphasic porohyperelastic material model, and meniscus with a transversely isotropic linear biphasic poroelastic material model. Two criteria (permeation and shear), both driven by mechanical loading, were considered to trigger the growth in the solid constituents. Mechanical loading with sixty heavy cycles was considered to represent daily walking activity. The growth algorithm was implemented for 90 days after implantation. The results from simulations show that both cartilage layers were more stimulated near the implant which lead to more growth of the cartilage near the defect. The method developed in the present work could be a powerful technique if more accurate material data and growth laws were available.

MeSH terms

  • Cartilage, Articular / growth & development*
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Metals*
  • Models, Theoretical*


  • Metals