Quantification of the compressive material properties of the meniscus is of paramount importance, creating a “gold-standard” reference for future research. The purpose of this study was to determine compressive properties in six animal models (baboon, bovine, canine, human, lapine, and porcine) at six topographical locations. It was hypothesized that topographical variation of the compressive properties would be found in each animal model and that interspecies variations would also be exhibited. To test these hypotheses, creep and recovery indentation experiments were performed on the meniscus using a creep indentation apparatus and analyzed via a finite element optimization method to determine the material properties. Results show significant intraspecies and interspecies variation in the compressive properties among the six topographical locations, with the moduli exhibiting the highest values in the anterior portion. For example, the anterior location of the human meniscus has an aggregate modulus of 160 ± 40 kPa, whereas the central and posterior portions exhibit aggregate moduli of 100 ± 30 kPa. Interspecies comparison of the aggregate moduli identifies the lapine anterior location having the highest value (450 ± 120 kPa) and the human posterior location having the lowest (100 ± 30 kPa). These baseline values of compressive properties will be of help in future meniscal repair efforts.
Biomechanics; Material properties; Meniscal cartilage