Cartilage Biomechanics and Temporomandibular Joint



Temporomandibular joint (also known as TMJ), composed of the temporal fossa, mandibular condyle, and articular disc, is the only diarthrodial joint in the human head. Unlike hyaline cartilage in other joints, the TMJ disc and condylar cartilage are fibrocartilaginous tissues with a unique composition and structure. Using a unique custom-built micro-tribometer, we characterized the mechanical and frictional behaviors of TMJ cartilage (Zimmerman et al., Journal of Dental Research, 2015). We further analyzed the function-structural correlation of TMJ cartilage using finite element simulation based on a nonlinear poroelastic theory (Ruggiero et al., Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2015).


TMJ disc and condyle head


A spherical indenter tip sliding on TMJ condyle cartilage modeled as a nonlinear, heterogeneous, poroelastic material.