Journal article

Impact of synovial fluid flow on temperature regulation in knee cartilage

Several studies have reported an increase of temperature in cartilage submitted to cyclic sinusoidal loading. The temperature increase is in part due to the viscous behavior of this tissue, which partially dissipates the input mechanical energy into heat. While the synovial fluid flow within the intra-articular gap and inside the porous cartilage is supposed to play an important role in the regulation of the cartilage temperature, no specific study has evaluated this aspect. In the present numerical study, a poroelastic model of the knee cartilage is developed to evaluate first the temperature increase in the cartilage due to dissipation and second the impact of the synovial fluid flow in the cartilage heat transfer phenomenon. Our results showed that, the local temperature is effectively increased in knee cartilage due to its viscous behavior. The synovial fluid flow cannot significantly preventing this phenomenon. We explain this result by the low permeability of cartilage and the moderate fluid exchange at the surface of cartilage under deformation.

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