Experimental findings indicate that in-situ chondrocytes die readily following impact loading, but remain essentially unaffected at low (non-impact) strain rates. This study was aimed at identifying possible causes for cell death in impact loading by quantifying chondrocyte mechanics when cartilage was subjected to a 5% nominal tissue strain at different strain rates. Multi-scale modelling techniques were used to simulate cartilage tissue and the corresponding chondrocytes residing in the tissue. Chondrocytes were modelled by accounting for the cell membrane, pericellular matrix and pericellular capsule. The results suggest that cell deformations, cell fluid pressures and fluid flow velocity through cells are highest at the highest (impact) strain rate, but they do not reach damaging levels. Tangential strain rates of the cell membrane were highest at the highest strain rate and were observed primarily in superficial tissue cells. Since cell death following impact loading occurs primarily in superficial zone cells, we speculate that cell death in impact loading is caused by the high tangential strain rates in the membrane of superficial zone cells causing membrane rupture and loss of cell content and integrity.
'Smoker's paradox' is a controversial phenomenon of an unexpected favourable outcome of smokers post acute myocardial infarction. There are conflicting evidences from the literature so far. We investigate for the existence of this phenomenon in our post acute myocardial infarction patients.
Cartilage lesions change the microenvironment of cells and may accelerate cartilage degradation through catabolic responses from chondrocytes. In this study, we investigated the effects of structural integrity of the extracellular matrix (ECM) on chondrocytes by comparing the mechanics of cells surrounded by an intact ECM with cells close to a cartilage lesion using experimental and numerical methods. Experimentally, 15% nominal compression was applied to bovine cartilage tissues using a light-transmissible compression system. Target cells in the intact ECM and near lesions were imaged by dual-photon microscopy. Changes in cell morphology (N(cell)=32 for both ECM conditions) were quantified. A two-scale (tissue level and cell level) Finite Element (FE) model was also developed. A 15% nominal compression was applied to a non-linear, biphasic tissue model with the corresponding cell level models studied at different radial locations from the centre of the sample in the transient phase and at steady state. We studied the Green-Lagrange strains in the tissue and cells. Experimental and theoretical results indicated that cells near lesions deform less axially than chondrocytes in the intact ECM at steady state. However, cells near lesions experienced large tensile strains in the principal height direction, which are likely associated with non-uniform tissue radial bulging. Previous experiments showed that tensile strains of high magnitude cause an up-regulation of digestive enzyme gene expressions. Therefore, we propose that cartilage degradation near tissue lesions may be due to the large tensile strains in the principal height direction applied to cells, thus leading to an up-regulation of catabolic factors.