Research Papers: Biotribology

Equine Articular Cartilage Stiffness Determination Using Indentation

[+] Author and Article Information
Hyeon Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Auburn University,
Auburn, AL 36849
e-mail: hlee777@vt.edu

Kelcie M. Theis, R. Reid Hanson

College of Veterinary Medicine,
Auburn University,
Auburn, AL 36849

Robert L. Jackson

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Auburn University,
Auburn, AL 36849

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received December 8, 2013; final manuscript received July 13, 2014; published online October 3, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Zhong Min Jin.

J. Tribol 137(1), 011201 (Oct 03, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: TRIB-13-1246; doi: 10.1115/1.4028285 History: Received December 08, 2013; Revised July 13, 2014

In order to determine that the stiffness varies between different joint types, an indentation test was performed on fresh equine articular cartilage surfaces from the fetlock, carpal, and stifle joints. The results demonstrated that the stiffness varies on different joints showing different mechanical behaviors. A flat-ended cylindrical indenter is lowered at a constant rate for 20 s until the indentation depth reaches 0.2 mm (velocity of 10 μm/s). It was shown that the articular cartilage of the fetlock is stiffer than the carpal and stifle joints. The average stiffness of the fetlock, carpal, and stifle joints are 46.1 N/mm, 20.5 N/mm, and 2.73 N/mm, respectively. The coefficients of a fit for the joints were statistically compared as well using the student t-test. The differences of some coefficients between the fetlock, carpus, and stifle were “very highly significant” (p < 0.001). Four different surfaces in the fetlock and four in carpal joint were compared as well. The front lateral, front medial, rear lateral, and rear medial cartilage surfaces in the fetlock were not significantly different in stiffness. In the carpus, the distal radius and proximal radial carpal bone articular cartilage surfaces showed significantly different stiffness from the others, while the distal radial carpal bone and proximal third carpal bone articular cartilage surfaces possessed similar stiffness values. The cartilage surfaces from the radiocarpal joint were stiffer than the midcarpal joint. Clear trends in the correlations between stiffness and weight as well as stiffness and age of the horse were not observed.

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Topics: Stiffness , Cartilage
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

The midcarpal joint of the carpus (left), the distal radial carpal bone (C3), and the proximal third carpal bone (C4) articular cartilage surfaces from the joint (the dashed line indicates the range of motion)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

The radiocarpal joint of the carpus (left), the distal radius (C1), and the proximal radial carpal bone (C2) articular cartilage surfaces from the joint (the dashed line indicates the range of motion)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Radiograph of the fetlock (left) and the distal metacarpus III (right) articular cartilage surface divided into two sections: medial and lateral metacarpus III condyle

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Fig. 2

The locations of the fetlock, carpal, and stifle joints in equine

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Fig. 1

Comparative size of distal femurs between a rat, a goat, and a human from left to right with coins (top) and the equine distal femur with a quarter (bottom) at the same scale (Chu et al. [48])

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Fig. 6

Radiograph of the stifle (left) and medial femoral condyle (right) articular cartilage surface from the joint

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Fig. 7

UMT-3 performing indentation tests of articular cartilage submerged in saline

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Fig. 8

Schematic of the indentation test setup

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Fig. 9

A raw data of an indentation test on a surface of C2

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Fig. 10

Comparison of the force throughout the indentation depth between the fetlock, carpus, and stifle

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Fig. 11

Comparison of the stiffness throughout the indentation depth between the fetlock, carpus, and stifle

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Comparison of the stiffness throughout the indentation depth between the articular cartilage surfaces from the fetlock joint

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Fig. 13

Comparison of the stiffness throughout the indentation depth between the articular cartilage surfaces from the carpal joint



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