2006 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 242-249
In orthopedic field, various new treatments of articular cartilage defect, for example autogenous osteochondral grafts, have been developed. With the spread of these treatments, orthopedists began to focus on the mechanical properties of recovered articular cartilage. The quantitative evaluation of articular cartilage before and after these treatments gives orthopedists the important information to improve these treatments and develop new treatments. We have been investigating the non-contact ultrasonic evaluation for articular cartilage under arthroscopy. In this paper, it was hypothesized that the ultrasonic evaluation depended on the collagen fiber in cartilage. The enzymatically degradation of collagen fiber in cartilage surface was performed. The effect of the degradation on sound velocity, attenuation coefficient and signal intensity, which is the index of cartilage stiffness calculated from the proposed method, was measured. The numerical analysis was performed to clear the relation between the cartilage character and ultrasonic parameters. Experimental and numerical results suggest that the present method can be expanded the sensitive evaluation for cartilage disease in clinical field.