Material properties of individual menisci and their attachments obtained through inverse FE-analysis

Maren Freutel, Fabio Galbusera, Anita Ignatius, Lutz Dürselen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Meniscal properties for computational methods have already been proposed. However, it is well known that there is high intra subject variability in the material properties of soft tissues and that disruption of the fiber network alters the biomechanics of the meniscus. Therefore, the objective of this study was to establish a non invasive method to determine the material properties of the individual menisci and their attachments using inverse FE-analyses.In a previous study, the 3D displacements of the meniscus and its attachments under axial joint loads were determined for intact porcine knees. To simulate the experimental response in individual FE-analyses (n=5), an anisotropic, hyperelastic meniscus matrix was embedded in a poroelastic model. During a particle swarm optimization, the difference between the force applied to the meniscus during the experiment and the femoral surface reaction force of the FE model at equilibrium was minimized by varying four material parameters. Afterwards, a prediction error was determined to describe how well the material parameter fit to each of the three displacement directions. Additionally, the stresses occurring in the meniscus were evaluated.The error of the material parameter optimization was on average 6.5±4.4%. The best fitting material parameter combination revealed an error of 1.2%. The highest stresses occurred in the region between the pars intermedia and posterior horn of the meniscus.The individual material properties of the meniscus were successfully obtained with a combination of previously reported, noninvasively measured 3D displacements and inverse FE-analyses. The methodology presented in this study is a promising contribution to the detection of degeneration within the meniscus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1349
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Finite element analysis
  • Material properties
  • Meniscus
  • Optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)


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