Articular cartilage (AC) serves as the major load bearing material within synovial joints and provides a low friction and wear resistant interface. As an avascular tissue, AC lacks the ability to repair structural damage or degeneration. Thus, the need for replacement tissue was a motivating factor in the development of cartilage tissue engineering. Recently, a finite element model (FEM) of cartilage growth [1] has been developed to simulate various growth conditions such as in vitro (outside the body) tissue growth experiments. In order to validate growth laws used in the FEM, empirical measurements of AC properties (mechanical and biochemical) before and after in vitro growth are needed. The goal of this study is to design protocols to comprehensively quantify the biomechanical structure-function relations of AC.

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