Mechanobiology of the meniscus.
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The meniscus plays a critical biomechanical role in the knee, providing load support, joint stability, and congruity. Importantly, growing evidence indicates that the mechanobiologic response of meniscal cells plays a critical role in the physiologic, pathologic, and repair responses of the meniscus. Here we review experimental and theoretical studies that have begun to directly measure the biomechanical effects of joint loading on the meniscus under physiologic and pathologic conditions, showing that the menisci are exposed to high contact stresses, resulting in a complex and nonuniform stress-strain environment within the tissue. By combining microscale measurements of the mechanical properties of meniscal cells and their pericellular and extracellular matrix regions, theoretical and experimental models indicate that the cells in the meniscus are exposed to a complex and inhomogeneous environment of stress, strain, fluid pressure, fluid flow, and a variety of physicochemical factors. Studies across a range of culture systems from isolated cells to tissues have revealed that the biological response of meniscal cells is directly influenced by physical factors, such as tension, compression, and hydrostatic pressure. In addition, these studies have provided new insights into the mechanotransduction mechanisms by which physical signals are converted into metabolic or pro/anti-inflammatory responses. Taken together, these in vivo and in vitro studies show that mechanical factors play an important role in the health, degeneration, and regeneration of the meniscus. A more thorough understanding of the mechanobiologic responses of the meniscus will hopefully lead to therapeutic approaches to prevent degeneration and enhance repair of the meniscus.
Mechanical signal transduction
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.02.008
Publication InfoGuilak, Farshid; & McNulty, Amy (2015). Mechanobiology of the meniscus. J Biomech, 48(8). pp. 1469-1478. 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.02.008. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/10278.
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Lazlo Ormandy Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
This author no longer has a Scholars@Duke profile, so the information shown here reflects their Duke status at the time this item was deposited.
Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
The long term goals of the McNulty lab are to develop strategies to prevent osteoarthritis and to promote tissue repair and regeneration following joint injury. In order to achieve these goals, we need to understand the mechanisms necessary for tissue repair and regeneration and how they are altered with aging and joint injury. Specifically, we are working to enhance the integrative repair of meniscus to restore meniscal function and decrease the risk of osteoarthritis development. &
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