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The Chinese Journal of Dental Research

Year 2002
Volume 5 , Issue 1

Pages: 58 - 61

Tensile Mechanics of Mandibular Condyle Cartilage

Hong Kang/Guangjie Bao/Yu Dong/Xinzhu Yi/Yonglie Chao/Mengshi Chen

Objective: To study the biomechanical properties of the mandibular condyle cartilage and determine its functional importance. Material and Methods: Eight condyle specimens of the four pig temporomandibular joints were obtained by autopsy and stored in sealed plastic bags at –20C. These pigs were healthy and aged 1 year ± 2 months. In the coronal direction, 300 µm wide, rectangular cartilage-bone specimens were prepared on the right condyles using a specified knife. In the sagittal direction, rectangular cartilage-bone specimens with the same width were obtained on the left condyles. Standard rectangular testing specimens were prepared from cartilage-bone specimens in a microtome kept at –20C (300 µm wide and 250 µm thick). The specimens were inserted in a soft tissue uniaxial tensile testing machine and immersed in a bath of Ringer’s solution at room temperature. Preconditioning of the specimens was carried out prior to the uniaxial tensile experiment and the specimens were elongated to failure with the constant strain rate (0.05 mm/s). The resulting mean values were curve-fitted with Fung’s two-parameter (A, B) exponential stress strain equation using a nonlinear regression program. Results: The data obtained showed a typical nonlinear biomechanical behavior of the condyle cartilage. Toe-region and quasi-linear zone were obvious on the experimental stress strain relation curve. Theoretically fitted parameters A and B were 0.47 and 4.13 (coronally) and 0.60 and 4.70 (sagitally). The sagittal specimens showed greater tensile stress (2.92 MPa), tensile stiffness (9.04 MPa) and energy absorption (6.02 N.mm) but less tensile strain (37.34%) than the coronal specimens (2.15 MPa, 6.55 MPa, 4.91 N.mm, and 41%). The differences were statistically significant (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The mandibular condyle cartilage is a biphasic material which shows nonlinear viscoelastic behavior, anisotropic characteristics in biomechanical function and a great ability to resist tensile stress in the longitudinal direction.



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