The Effects of Load Frequency on the Tensile Fatigue Behaviour of Meniscus

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Trevor Lujan


The meniscus is a fibrous soft-tissue within the knee joint that acts as a cushion between the femur and tibia and serves to protect the articular cartilage by distributing loads across the joint. However, meniscus is highly susceptible to tears, increasing the risk of developing osteoarthritis. These tears can occur from high frequency, low intensity loading called fatigue failure. Unfortunately, characterizing fatigue at physiological frequencies (1-2 Hz) is time consuming; therefore, data is limited on meniscus fatigue properties. To decrease fatigue testing time, the objective of this study was to measure the effect of cycle frequency on fatigue behavior. Bovine meniscus was layered, punched, and loaded into an immersion tank filled with saline and kept at 32 °C. To measure the effect of load frequency, each specimen was cyclically loaded in tension with frequencies of 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 Hz at equal stress amplitudes. Creep behavior became altered at frequencies above 6 Hz. This study developed a novel methodology to evaluate load frequency effects on fatigue behavior. Results indicate that fatigue tests can be safely run at 6 Hz without affecting the measured properties, which will substantially reduce the testing time needed to characterize fatigue properties.

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