The mechanical interactions between cells and their extracellular matrix have important implications on mechanotransduction in mammalian tissues. Continuum models of cell mechanics enable determination of material properties and their variations with important factors such as site, age and disease. This chapter describes the development and application of solid-based computational methods for multiphasic continuum models of the cells of articular cartilage (chondrocytes). Applications include models for several in vitro micromechanical test configurations for determining cell properties, and simulations of mechanical cell-matrix interactions under physiologically relevant loading conditions. The computational techniques described are based on the boundary element method (BEM) and the finite element method (FEM), including applications to contact problems and multiscale modeling. As illustrated in the context of articular cartilage, the development of new computational methods will provide important tools to enhance our understanding of the role of cell biomechanics in regulation of cell physiology in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational Modeling in Biomechanics
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9789048135745
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • Boundary element method
  • Chondron
  • Collagen
  • Contact problem
  • Finite element method
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Proteoglycan


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