Material properties of the human posterior knee capsule

H.H. Rachmat, D. Janssen*, G.J. Verkerke, R.L. Diercks, N. Verdonschot

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)


    BACKGROUND: There is considerable interest to develop accurate subject-specific biomechanical models of the knee. Most of the existing models currently do not include a representation of the posterior knee capsule. In order to incorporate the posterior capsule in knee models, data is needed on its mechanical properties.

    OBJECTIVE: To quantify the mechanical properties of the human posterior knee capsule through semi-static tensile tests.

    METHODS: Fifteen posterior knee capsule specimens (5 knees, 3 male, 2 female; age 79.2±7.9 years) were used to perform tensile tests. A medial, central and lateral specimen was taken from each knee. The cross-sectional area was measured, after which semi-static tensile tests were performed to quantify the material properties.

    RESULTS: The stiffness of the capsule was randomly distributed over the regions. The global Young's modulus and yield strength was 8.58±10.77 MPa and 1.75±1.89 MPa, respectively. A strong correlation (ρ=0.900) was found between Young's modulus and yield strength. The location of failure was not associated with smallest cross-sectional area or highest strain.

    CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the posterior knee capsule does not have a systematic (medial–central–lateral) distribution of material properties. The posterior capsule may play an important role in knee joint mechanics, particularly when in hyper extension.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)177-187
    Number of pages11
    JournalBio-medical materials and engineering
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Cross sectional area
    • Material properties
    • Posterior knee capsule
    • Tensile tests
    • Three-dimensional knee model


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