Extra! Extra! Read all about it! In a recent publication in the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, researchers from Dr. Diane Wagner's lab from Indiana evaluated the anisotropy of cartilage in an accelerated in vitro cartilage wear test. They found that CHP staining of damaged collagen highlighted that transverse (orthogonal) loading caused greater damage to collagen than with longitudinal loading. This was not due to increased friction either, as the coefficient of friction was equivalent in both directions. The cartilage wear was not limited to the articular surface, as the GAG loss and CHP stain extended through the depth of the tissue. These results indicate distinct differences between cartilage wear and the wear of traditional engineering materials, suggesting that further study on cartilage wear is warranted. Although this test doesn't mimic the physiologic conditions for cartilage loading, this accelerated wear test may be useful for further studies into the mechanical wear and degradation seen in diseases such as osteoarthritis.
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