Cartilage biomechanics: A key factor for osteoarthritis regenerative medicine

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2019 Jun 1;1865(6):1067-1075. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2019.03.011. Epub 2019 Mar 22.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disorder that is highly extended in the global population. Several researches and therapeutic strategies have been probed on OA but without satisfactory long-term results in joint replacement. Recent evidences show how the cartilage biomechanics plays a crucial role in tissue development. This review describes how physics alters cartilage and its extracellular matrix (ECM); and its role in OA development. The ECM of the articular cartilage (AC) is widely involved in cartilage turnover processes being crucial in regeneration and joint diseases. We also review the importance of physicochemical pathways following the external forces in AC. Moreover, new techniques probed in cartilage tissue engineering for biomechanical stimulation are reviewed. The final objective of these novel approaches is to create a cellular implant that maintains all the biochemical and biomechanical properties of the original tissue for long-term replacements in patients with OA.

Keywords: Biomechanics; Mechanotransduction; Osteoarthritis; Regenerative medicine; Tissue engineering; Ultrasound.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / cytology
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiology*
  • Chondrocytes / cytology
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology*
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods*
  • Regenerative Medicine / trends
  • Tissue Engineering / methods
  • Tissue Engineering / trends