The fascicle material properties in bone-fascicle-bone units were determined for the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL, PCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and the patellar tendon (PT) from three young human donor knees. Groups of fascicles from each tissue were isolated with intact bone ends and failed at a high strain rate in a saline bath at 37°C.
In each knee tested the load related material properties (linear modulus, maximum stress and energy density to maximum stress) for the patellar tendon were significantly larger than corresponding values for the cruciate and collateral ligaments. Bundles from different ligaments in the same knee were similar to each other in their mechanical behavior. In addition, no significant differences were present in the maximum strains recorded for any of the four tissue types examined.
The results presented have implications in studies of ligament injury. They are also important in the design and use of synthetic and biological ligament replacements and in tissue and whole knee modeling.