Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Jennifer Wayne


The superficial tangential zone (STZ) plays a significant role in normal articular cartilage’s ability to support loads and retain fluids. To date, tissue engineering efforts have not replicated normal STZ function in cartilage repairs. Finite element models were developed to examine the STZ’s role in normal and repaired articular surfaces under different contact conditions. Models were developed by incrementally adding improvements which culminated in contact loading of curved models by permeable and impermeable rigid surfaces and a normal cartilage layer. In the normal STZ, permeability was strain-dependent on volumetric strain; tension-compression nonlinearity modeled collagen behavior. Nonlinear geometry accounted for finite deformation. Results showed that STZ properties of sufficient quality maybe critical for the survival of transplanted constructs in vivo. As compared to rigid surfaces, loading via normal cartilage provided more physiologic results. These models can provide guidance in identifying critical features for the design of tissue engineered articular cartilage constructs.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011