4 years ago

Sliding enhances fluid and solute transport into buried articular cartilage contacts

Solutes and interstitial water are naturally transported from cartilage by load-induced interstitial fluid pressures. Fluid and solute recovery during joint articulation have been primarily attributed to passive diffusion and mechanical ‘pumping’ from dynamic loading. This paper tests if the sliding action of articulation is a significant and independent driver of fluid and solute transport in cartilage. Design The large osteochondral samples utilized in the present study preserve the convergent wedges necessary for physiological hydrodynamics. Following static load-induced fluid exudation and prior to sliding, a fluorescent solute (AlexaFluor 633) was added to the lubricant bath. In situ confocal microscopy was used to quantify the transport of solute from the bath into the buried stationary contact area during sliding. Results Following static exudation, significant reductions in friction and strain during sliding at 60 mm/s were accompanied by significant solute transport into the inaccessible center of the buried contact; no such transport was detected for the 0- or 1 mm/s sliding conditions. The results suggest that external hydrodynamic pressures from sliding induced advective flows that carried solutes from the bath toward the center of contact. Conclusions These results provide the first direct evidence that the action of sliding is a significant contributor to fluid and solute recovery by cartilage. Furthermore, they indicate that the sliding-induced transport of solutes into the buried interface was orders of magnitude greater than that attributable to diffusion alone, a result with critical implications for disease prevention and tissue engineering.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1063458417311652

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