Development of subject specific finite element models of the mouse knee joint for preclinical applications

Osteoarthritis affects the properties of the joints, changing its shape and mechanical response, and inducing pain to the patient. Mouse models are commonly used to identify the effect of mechanical instability of the joint on its structure and to optimise treatments for reducing the joint degeneration. Computational models can be used to better understand the effect of the degeneration on the joint properties and to reduce and partially replace the usage of mice in research. However, creating realistic models of the mouse knee joint is not trivial due to the complexity of the structure. The goal of this study was to develop finite element models of the mouse knee joint with increasing complexity in order to evaluate the effect of model simplification on the prediction of the joint properties. We have shown that it is important to model realistically the cartilage layers and the meniscus in the models in order to obtain realistic results. The model will be applied in the future to evaluate the effect of post-traumatic osteoarthritis on the mouse knee joint and to optimise treatments for this disease.  

Masks of the features for the different models with decreasing complexity in frontal section (left) and the generated finite element models after meshing (right) for: model including individual cartilage layers with meniscus (A,B); model including individual cartilage layers without meniscus (C,D); model including homogeneous cartilage layers with different thickness values for the lateral and medial condyles (E,F); model including homogeneous cartilage layer with the same value of thickness for both condyles (G,H).

Zanjani-Pour S, Giorgi M, Dall’Ara E: “Development of subject-specific finite element models of the mouse knee joint for preclinical applications”;  Frontiers Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 2020; 8:558815

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fbioe.2020.558815/full

https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.558815