Postprint version. Published in Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, Volume 3, Issue 4, June 1, 2005, pages 209-223. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10237-004-0060-9.
A cartilage growth mixture (CGM) model is linearized for infinitesimal elastic and growth strains. Parametric studies for equilibrium and nonequilibrium boundary-value problems representing the in vitro growth of cylindrical cartilage constructs are solved. The results show that the CGM model is capable of describing the main biomechanical features of cartilage growth. The solutions to the equilibrium problems reveal that tissue composition, constituent pre-stresses, and geometry depend on collagen remodeling activity, growth symmetry, and differential growth. Also, nonhomogeneous growth leads to nonhomogeneous tissue composition and constituent pre-stresses. The solution to the nonequilibrium problem reveals that the tissue is nearly in equilibrium at all time points. The results suggest that the CGM model may be used in the design of tissue engineered cartilage constructs for the repair of cartilage defects; for example, to predict how dynamic mechanical loading affects the development of nonuniform properties during in vitro growth. Furthermore, the results lay the foundation for future analyses with nonlinear models that are needed to develop realistic models of cartilage growth.