Three-dimensional contact of transversely isotropic transversely homogeneous cartilage layers: A closed-form solution

Gennaro Vitucci, Gennady Mishuris

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Abstract

Inhomogeneity and anisotropy play a crucial role in attributing articular cartilage its properties. The frictionless contact involves two thin biphasic transversely isotropic transversely homogeneous (TITH) cartilage layers firmly attached onto rigid substrates and shaped as elliptic paraboloids of different radii. Using asymptotic techniques, a solution to the deformation problem of such material has been recently obtained extending previous ones referred to homogeneous materials. The layer itself is thin in comparison with the size of the contact area and the observed time is shorter than the hydrogel characteristic time. The emerging three-dimensional contact problem is solved in closed-form and numerical benchmarks for constant and oscillating loads are given. The results are shown in terms of contact pressure and approach of the bones. The latter is derived to be directly proportional to the contact area. Existing experimental data are reinterpreted in view of the current model formulation. Comparisons are made with existing solutions for homogeneous biphasic materials in order to underline the functional importance of inhomogeneity in spreading the contact pressure distribution across the contact area. Particular attention is paid to the applicability of the retrieved formulas for interpreting measurements of in vivo experiments. Future directions are also prospected
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
JournalEuropean Journal of Mechanics - A/Solids
Volume65
Early online date12 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2017

Keywords

  • articular cartilage
  • contact mechanics
  • transversely isotropic transversely homogeneous
  • biphasic biological tissue
  • asymptotic analysis

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