Effect of crosslinking in cartilage-like collagen microstructures

Journal article


Chen, Ying-chun, Chen, Minsi, Gaffney, Eamonn A. and Brown, Cameron P. 2016. Effect of crosslinking in cartilage-like collagen microstructures. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2016.10.006
AuthorsChen, Ying-chun, Chen, Minsi, Gaffney, Eamonn A. and Brown, Cameron P.
Abstract

The mechanical performance of biological tissues is underpinned by a complex and finely balanced structure. Central to this is collagen, the most abundant protein in our bodies, which plays a dominant role in the functioning of tissues, and also in disease. Based on the collagen meshwork of articular cartilage, we have developed a bottom-up spring-node model of collagen and examined the effect of fibril connectivity, implemented by crosslinking, on mechanical behaviour. Although changing individual crosslink stiffness within an order of magnitude had no significant effect on modelling predictions, the density of crosslinks in a meshwork had a substantial impact on its behaviour. Highly crosslinked meshworks maintained a ‘normal’ configuration under loading, with stronger resistance to deformation and improved recovery relative to sparsely crosslinked meshwork. Stress on individual fibrils, however, was higher in highly crosslinked meshworks. Meshworks with low numbers of crosslinks reconfigured to disease-like states upon deformation and recovery. The importance of collagen interconnectivity may provide insight into the role of ultrastructure and its mechanics in the initiation, and early stages, of diseases such as osteoarthritis.

KeywordsArticular cartilage; Cartilage model; Osteoarthritis; Ultrastructure; Collagen network model
Year2016
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
PublisherElsevier
ISSN17516161
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2016.10.006
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/620879
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
hdl:10545/620879
Publication dates15 Oct 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Nov 2016, 18:30
Accepted14 Oct 2016
Rights

Archived with thanks to Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials

ContributorsUniversity of Oxford, University of Derby and University of Oxford
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