Articular cartilage (AC) supports and distributes loads in synovial joints while maintaining a nearly frictionless surface. Successful replacement of large AC defects with an osteochondral graft requires an appropriate geometrical match with the defect region.
In AC, collagen (COL) provides tensile support to the tissue, and glycosaminoglycans (GAG) provide a fixed negative charge that produce swelling and contribute to the compressive properties of the tissue.
Previous studies (Fig. 1) have shown that 4 days of bending can reshape immature AC, but without a change in the total COL and GAG concentrations.
We hypothesized that more localized COL and/or GAG remodeling occurs during AC reshaping and may support the shape change.
The objective of this study was to determine the presence, magnitude and depth-dependence of COL and GAG remodeling that accompany the shape change of AC.