Combined Experimental Approach and Finite Element Modeling of Small Molecule Transport through Joint Synovium to Measure Effective Diffusivity

Young Guang, Tom M. Mcgrath, Natalie R. Klug, Robert J. Nims, Chien Cheng Shih, Peter O. Bayguinov, Farshid Guilak, Christine T.N. Pham, James A.J. Fitzpatrick, Lori A. Setton

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3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trans-synovial solute transport plays a critical role in the clearance of intra-articularly (IA) delivered drugs. In this study, we present a computational finite element model (FEM) of solute transport through the synovium validated by experiments on synovial explants. Unsteady diffusion of urea, a small uncharged molecule, was measured through devitalized porcine and human synovium using custom-built diffusion chambers. A multiphasic computational model was constructed and optimized with the experimental data to extract effective diffusivity for urea within the synovium. A monotonic decrease in urea concentration was observed in the donor bath over time, with an effective diffusivity found to be an order of magnitude lower in synovium versus that measured in free solution. Parametric studies incorporating an intimal cell layer with varying thickness and varying effective diffusivities were performed, revealing a dependence of drug clearance kinetics on both parameters. The findings of this study indicate that the synovial matrix impedes urea solute transport out of the joint with little retention of the solute in the matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041010
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Volume142
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

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