Comparison of elastic, viscoelastic and failure tensile material properties of knee ligaments and patellar tendon
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CitationRistaniemi, Aapo. Stenroth, Lauri. Mikkonen, Santtu. Korhonen, Rami K. (2018). Comparison of elastic, viscoelastic and failure tensile material properties of knee ligaments and patellar tendon. JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICS, 79, 31-38. 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2018.07.031.
The knee ligaments and patellar tendon function in concert with each other and other joint tissues, and are adapted to their specific physiological function via geometry and material properties. However, it is not well known how the viscoelastic and quasi-static material properties compare between the ligaments. The purpose of this study was to characterize and compare these material properties between the knee ligaments and patellar tendon.
Dumbbell-shaped tensile test samples were cut from bovine knee ligaments (ACL, LCL, MCL, PCL) and patellar tendon (PT) and subjected to tensile testing (n = 10 per ligament type). A sinusoidal loading test was performed at 8% strain with 0.5% strain amplitude using 0.1, 0.5 and 1 Hz frequencies. Subsequently, an ultimate tensile test was performed to investigate the stress-strain characteristics.
At 0.1 Hz, the phase difference between stress and strain was higher in LCL compared with ACL, PCL and PT (p < 0.05), and at 0.5 Hz that was higher in LCL compared with all other ligaments and PT (p < 0.05). PT had the longest toe-region strain (p < 0.05 compared with PCL and MCL) and MCL had the highest linear and strain-dependent modulus, and toughness (p < 0.05 compared with ACL, LCL and PT).
The results indicate that LCL is more viscous than other ligaments at low-frequency loads. MCL was the stiffest and toughest, and its modulus increased most steeply at the toe-region, possibly implying a greater amount of collagen. This study improves the knowledge about elastic, viscoelastic and failure properties of the knee ligaments and PT.