Effects of enzymatic degradation on the frictional response of articular cartilage in stress relaxation

Ines M. Basalo, David Raj, Ramaswamy Krishnan, Faye H. Chen, Clark T. Hung, Gerard A. Ateshian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


It was recently shown experimentally that the friction coefficient of articular cartilage correlates with the interstitial fluid pressurization, supporting the hypothesis that interstitial water pressurization plays a fundamental role in the frictional response by supporting most of the load during the early time response. A recent study showed that enzymatic treatment with chondroitinase ABC causes a decrease in the maximum fluid load support of bovine articular cartilage in unconfined compression. The hypothesis of this study is that treatment with chondroitinase ABC will increase the friction coefficient of articular cartilage in stress relaxation. Articular cartilage samples (n=34) harvested from the femoral condyles of five bovine knee joints (1-3 months old) were tested in unconfined compression with simultaneous continuous sliding (±1.5 mm at 1 mm/s) under stress relaxation. Results showed a significantly higher minimum friction coefficient in specimens treated with 0.1 μ/ml of chondroitinase ABC for 24 h (μmin=0. 082±0.024) compared to control specimens (μmin=0. 047±0.014). Treated samples also exhibited higher equilibrium friction coefficient (μeq=0.232±0.049) than control samples (μeq=0.184±0.036), which suggest that the frictional response is greatly influenced by the degree of tissue degradation. The fluid load support was predicted from theory, and the maximum value (as a percentage of the total applied load) was lower in treated specimens (77±12%) than in control specimens (85±6%). Based on earlier findings, the increase in the ratio μmineq may be attributed to the decrease in fluid load support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1349
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cartilage
  • Enzymatic digestion
  • Friction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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