Microindentation Technique to Create Localized Cartilage Microfractures

Dipul Chawla, Guebum Han, Melih Eriten, Corinne R. Henak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Articular cartilage is a multiphasic, anisotropic, and heterogeneous material. Although cartilage possesses excellent mechanical and biological properties, it can undergo mechanical damage, resulting in osteoarthritis. Thus, it is important to understand the microscale failure behavior of cartilage in both basic science and clinical contexts. Determining cartilage failure behavior and mechanisms provides insight for improving treatment strategies to delay osteoarthritis initiation or progression and can also enhance the value of cartilage as bioinspiration for material fabrication. To investigate microscale failure behavior, we developed a protocol to initiate fractures by applying a microindentation technique using a well-defined tip geometry that creates localized cracks across a range of loading rates. The protocol includes extracting the tissue from the joint, preparing samples, and microfracture. Various aspects of the experiment, such as loading profile and solvent, can be adjusted to mimic physiological or pathological conditions and thereby further clarify phenomena underlying articular cartilage failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere280
JournalCurrent Protocols
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC


  • cartilage failure
  • crack propagation
  • fatigue
  • microfracture
  • microindentation
  • micromechanical properties


Dive into the research topics of 'Microindentation Technique to Create Localized Cartilage Microfractures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this