Postprint version. Published in Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, Volume 7, Issue 4, August 1, 2008, pages 295-307. © Springer-Verlag 2007. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10237-007-0098-6.
The long range objective of this work is to develop a cartilage growth finite element model (CGFEM), based on the theories of growing mixtures that has the capability to depict the evolution of the anisotropic and inhomogeneous mechanical properties, residual stresses, and nonhomogeneities that are attained by native adult cartilage. The CGFEM developed here simulates isotropic in vitro growth of cartilage with and without mechanical stimulation. To accomplish this analysis a commercial finite element code (ABAQUS) is combined with an external program (MATLAB) to solve an incremental equilibrium boundary value problem representing one increment of growth. This procedure is repeated for as many increments as needed to simulate the desired growth protocol. A case study is presented utilizing a growth law dependent on the magnitude of the diffusive fluid velocity to simulate an in vitro dynamic confined compression loading protocol run for 2 weeks. The results include changes in tissue size and shape, nonhomogeneities that develop in the tissue, as well as the variation that occurs in the tissue constitutive behavior from growth.