Measurement of the layered compressive properties of trypsin-treated articular cartilage: An ultrasound investigation

Yongping Zheng, C. X. Ding, J. Bai, A. F.T. Mak, L. Qin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


An ultrasound-compression system has been developed for the study of the layered biomechanical properties of articular cartilage. Cartilage specimens harvested from the bovine patella groove, with and without trypsin digestion, were tested using this system. It was noted that a large ultrasound reflection can be detected in the interface of the trypsin digestion front. This ultrasound reflection signal was used to differentiate the deformations of different portions of the cartilage throughout its depth when a load was applied. The equilibrium compression moduli of the digested, undigested and entire portions of articular cartilage were measured. The modulus of the cartilage without any digestion was 660 ± 230 kPa. After 1 h digestion with 1 mg ml-1trypsin solution, the thickness of the digested portion was 0.50 ± 0.06 mm, and the modulus of the entire cartilage layer changed to 125 ± 42 kPa. The moduli of the digested and undigested portions were 58 ± 24 kPa and 470 ± 31 kPa, respectively. Similar results were obtained for the cartilage with trypsin digestion for 2 h.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-541
Number of pages8
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Articular cartilage
  • Biomechanics
  • Elastography
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ultrasound technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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