Stress-vs-time signals allow the prediction of structurally catastrophic events during fracturing of immature cartilage and predetermine the biomechanical, biochemical, and structural impairment
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Objective: Trauma-associated cartilage fractures occur in children and adolescents with clinically significant incidence. Several studies investigated biomechanical injury by compressive forces but the injury-related stress has not been investigated extensively. In this study, we hypothesized that the biomechanical stress occurring during compressive injury predetermines the biomechanical, biochemical, and structural consequences. We specifically investigated whether the stress-vs-time signal correlated with the injurious damage and may allow prediction of cartilage matrix fracturing. Methods: Superficial and deeper zones disks (SZDs, DZDs; immature bovine cartilage) were biomechanically characterized, injured (50% compression, 100%/s strain-rate), and re-characterized. Correlations of the quantified functional, biochemical and histological damage with biomechanical parameters were zonally investigated. Results: Injured SZDs exhibited decreased dynamic stiffness (by 93.04. ±. 1.72%), unresolvable equilibrium moduli, structural damage (2.0. ±. 0.5 on a 5-point-damage-scale), and 1.78-fold increased sGAG loss. DZDs remained intact. Measured stress-vs-time-curves during injury displayed 4 distinct shapes, which correlated with histological damage (p
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