Impacts of maturation on the micromechanics of the meniscus extracellular matrix

Qing Li, Chao Wang, Biao Han, Feini Qu, Hao Qi, Christopher Y. Li, Robert L. Mauck, Lin Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


To elucidate how maturation impacts the structure and mechanics of meniscus extracellular matrix (ECM) at the length scale of collagen fibrils and fibers, we tested the micromechanical properties of fetal and adult bovine menisci via atomic force microscopy (AFM)-nanoindentation. For circumferential fibers, we detected significant increase in the effective indentation modulus, E ind , with age. Such impact is in agreement with the increase in collagen fibril diameter and alignment during maturation, and is more pronounced in the outer zone, where collagen fibrils are more aligned and packed. Meanwhile, maturation also markedly increases the E ind of radial tie fibers, but not those of intact surface or superficial layer. These results provide new insights into the effect of maturation on the assembly of meniscus ECM, and enable the design of new meniscus repair strategies by modulating local ECM structure and mechanical behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-257
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - Apr 27 2018


  • Collagen fibers
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Maturation
  • Meniscus
  • Nanoindentation


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