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Mechanical properties of temporomandibular joint disc on the basis of porcine preparation investigations

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The paper presents the results of a study on mechanical properties of porcine temporomandibular joint discs. Taking into account anatomical properties, three typical spots were selected for the investigation: the posterior, anterior and central parts of the disc. The main focus was on the influence of samples' preparation on the changes in mechanical properties. Complete undamaged discs, cylindricallycut disc samples of 5 mm in diameter as well as discs of locally broken continuity in the upper layer around the measuring zone were prepared. Periodic compression was applied during testing, by varying the force in a sawtooth control signal. The rate of increasing the force applied equalled 1 N/s with a maximum value of 3 N. Based on the stress and strain characteristics obtained, the object's rigidity, Young's modulus of the samples, and effective Young's modulus of joint discs were calculated. Results showed that the stress and strain characteristics of the discs' substance depend on sample preparation, measurement location and load history within a given number of cycles. Only the fifth load cycle may be considered as stabilized. The most rigid proved to be the posterior part of the disc, as the rigidity of the samples, of an incised disc and of a complete disc in the fifth loading cycle amounted to 117.9 N/mm, 88.8 N/mm and 87.1 N/mm, respectively. A central part of the disc exhibited the lowest rigidity, whose values for the samples, for an incised disc and for a complete disc reached 87.9 N/mm, 70.6 N/mm, and 38.7 N/mm, respectively. Excision of the samples resulted in their dehydration, which led to increased rigidity, as reflected by Young's modulus values. In the posterior part of the disc, the modulus value was 12.56 MPa, while in the anterior part and in the center, these values reached 7.25 MPa and 6.99 MPa, respectively. Excised discs also exhibited dehydration effects during examination. While loading complete discs, the lowest effective values of Young's modulus were obtained, despite the influence of the tissues adjacent to the loaded zone, counteracting deformation. The values were 4.44 MPa, 1.97 MPa and 2.99 MPa for the posterior, central and anterior parts, respectively. Present data allow the conclusion that the error introduced due to breaking the tissue continuity is greater than the error resulting from ignoring substance continuity when applying local loads to an undamaged disc. Therefore, it seems more sensible to adopt the effective Young's modulus values in numerical analyses rather than to apply the results obtained for the samples cut out of discs.
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Bibliogr. 17 poz., rys., tab.
  • Department of Process Modelling and Medical Engineering, Silesian Polytechnic University, Katowice
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