8W010 - Cartilage mechanics


Cartilage is a firm connective tissue found on the surface of bones. Its main function is to allow load transfer and translational movement between adjacent bones. The structure is completely adapted to fulfill this function. Most important in this respect are the proteoglycan polymeric network swollen in water and entangled within a highly organized collagen fiber network. Throughout life, it is subjected to large loads such as those that occur during lifting, running or jumping. In spite of its high risk of damage, the capability of cartilage to heal is unfortunately very limited.
During the course, there will be a close interaction between the teachers and students. In addition to didactic sessions, abundant time will be used to discuss current literature with the attendees.

Learning objectives

The aim of this course is to teach about several aspects of cartilage, including its cellular and matrix constituents, structure and function from both a mechanical and biological perspective. Also, the course deals with the development and differentiation of cartilage (both embryonic and during repair), tissue engineering and osteoarthritis.