Research Article| Volume 10, ISSUE 1, P47-51, March 2003

Download started.


Development of an artificial meniscus using polyvinyl alcohol-hydrogel for early return to, and continuance of, athletic life in sportspersons with severe meniscus injury. I: mechanical evaluation


      The importance of knee meniscus function is now recognized, and the treatment of meniscus injury has been changing from resection to repair. However, depending on the type of injury, meniscectomy sometimes cannot be avoided. The young athlete might undergo meniscectomy in order to return to sports life as early as possible. However, in such a knee, it is important to anticipate the future problem of degenerative change or osteoarthrosis. In consideration of the prognosis and circumstances in such patients, we have developed an artificial meniscus using polyvinyl alcohol-hydrogel (PVA-H) and performed mechanical tests for compression and stress–relaxation. We found that the human meniscus has unique viscoelastic properties and a high water content. PVA-H showed viscoelastic behaviour similar to that of human meniscus in mechanical tests. These results suggest that an artificial meniscus using PVA-H with a high water content can compensate for meniscal function and might be clinically applicable.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to The Knee
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Fithian D.C.
        • Kelly M.A.
        • Mow V.C.
        Material properties and structure–function relationships in the menisci.
        Clin Orthop. 1990; 252: 19-31
        • Radin E.L.
        • Lamotte F.
        • Maquet P.
        Role of the menisci in the distribution of stress in the knee.
        Clin Orthop. 1984; 185: 290-294
      1. Victor HFL, Margareta Ordon. Basic biomechanics of the skeletal system. Nankodo: Lea & Febiger; 1980. Japanese Edition

        • Fairbank T.J.
        Knee joint changes after meniscectomy.
        J Bone Jt Surg Part B. 1948; 30: 664-670
        • Lanzer W.L.
        • Komenda G.
        Changes in articular cartilage after meniscectomy.
        Clin Orthop. 1990; 252: 41-48
        • McNicholas M.J.
        • Rowley D.I.
        • McGurty D.
        • et al.
        Total meniscectomy in adolescence—a thirty-year follow up.
        J Bone Jt Surg Part B. 2000; 82: 217-221
        • Tapper E.M.
        • Hoover N.W.
        Late result after meniscectomy.
        J Bone Jt Surg Part A. 1969; 51: 517-526
        • Arnoczky S.P.
        • Warren R.F.
        • McDevitt C.A.
        Meniscal replacement using a cryopreserved allograft.
        Clin Orthop. 1990; 252: 121-128
        • Verli D.M.
        • Warren R.F.
        • Wickiewicz T.L.
        • O'Brien S.J.
        Current status of allograft meniscal transplantation.
        Clin Orthop. 1994; 303: 4-45
        • Klompmaker J.
        • Jansen H.W.B.
        • Veth R.P.H.
        • de Groot J.H.
        • Nijenhuis A.J.
        • Pennings A.J.
        Porous polymer implant for repair of meniscal lesions—a preliminary study in the dogs.
        Biomaterials. 1991; 12: 810-816
        • Klompaker J.
        • Jansen H.W.B.
        • Veth R.P.H.
        • de Groot J.H.
        • Nijenhuis A.J.
        • Pennings A.J.
        Meniscal replacement using a porous polymer prosthesis—a preliminary study in the dog.
        Biomaterials. 1996; 17: 1169-1175
        • Stone K.R.
        • Rodkey W.G.
        • Webber R.J.
        • McKinney L.
        • Steadman J.R.
        Future directions—collagen-based prostheses for meniscal regeneration.
        Clin Orthop. 1990; 252: 129-135
        • de Groot J.H.
        • Zijlstra F.M.
        • Kuipers H.W.
        • et al.
        Meniscal tissue regeneration in porous 50/50 copoly (l-lactide/ε-caprolactone) implants.
        Biomaterials. 1997; 18: 613-622
        • Sommerlath K.
        • Gillquist J.
        The effects of an artificial meniscus substitute in a knee joint with a resected anterior cruciate ligament.
        Clin Orthop. 1993; 289: 276-284
        • Burczak K.
        • Fujisato T.
        • Hitada M.
        • Ikada Y.
        Protein permeation through poly vinyl alcohol hydrogel membranes.
        Biomaterials. 1994; 15: 231-238
        • Noguchi T.
        • Yamamuro T.
        • Oka M.
        • et al.
        Poly vinyl alcohol hydrogel as an artificial articular cartilage—evaluation of biocompatibility.
        J Appl Biomater. 1991; 2: 101-107
        • Peppas N.A.
        • Merrill E.W.
        Development of semicrystalline polyvinyl alcohol hydrogels for biomedical applications.
        J Biomed Mater Res. 1977; 11: 423-434
        • Sarti B.
        • Scandola M.
        Viscoelastic and thermal properties of collagen/poly vinyl alcohol blends.
        Biomaterials. 1995; 16: 785-792
        • Young T.H.
        • Yao N.K.
        • Chang R.F.
        • Chen L.W.
        Evaluation of asymmetric poly vinyl alcohol membranes for use in artificial islets.
        Biomaterials. 1996; 17: 2139-2145
        • Delecrin J.
        • Oka M.
        • Kumar P.
        • Takahashi S.
        • Kotoura Y.
        • Yamamuro T.
        Joint reactions against polymer particles: PVA-H versus UHMWPE.
        J Jap Orthop Ass. 1990; 64: S1395
        • Fosang A.L.
        • Last K.
        • Maciewicz R.A.
        Aggrecan is degraded by matrix metalloproteinases in human arthritis. Evidence that matrix metalloproteinase and aggrecanase activities can be independent.
        J Clin Invest. 1996; 98: 2292-2299
        • Hayami T.
        • Oka M.
        • Ikeuchi K.
        • Cha W.I.
        • Hyon S.H.
        • Ikada Y.
        Shock absorbing ability of joint materials. Effect of molecular weight and saturated water content on the loss factor of PVA-H.
        Seitaizairyou. 1993; 11 (Japanese): 79-83
        • Oka M.
        • Noguchi T.
        • Kumar P.
        • et al.
        Development of an artificial articular cartilage.
        Clin Mater. 1990; 6: 361-381
        • Oka M.
        • Chang Y.S.
        • Nakamura T.
        • Ushio K.
        • Toguchida J.
        • Gu H.O.
        Synthetic osteochondral replacement of the femoral articular surface.
        J Bone Jt Surg Part B. 1997; 79: 1003-1007
        • Oka M.
        • Ushio K.
        • Kumar P.
        • et al.
        Development of artificial articular cartilage.
        Eng Med Part H. 2000; 214: 59-68