Mach-1Revolutionary Probe for Cartilage Evaluation


Current cartilage evaluation techniques involve qualitative assessment of articular cartilage and often lack sensitivity to early degenerative changes. The Arthro-BST™ is a medical device used in conjunction with arthroscopic procedures for the quantitative evaluation of articular cartilage. The instrument measures streaming potentials generated during gentle compression of the articular cartilage and calculates a quantitative parameter reflecting its electro-mechanical properties. Scientific literature has indicated that streaming potentials are not only a function of the stiffness of cartilage, but also of its composition, structure and thickness.

Cartilage Research

In addition to its clinical applications, the Arthro-BST™ offers a vast array of research opportunities in the field of cartilage repair. It is invaluable for:

• Understanding cartilage diseases, such as underlying causes of cartilage degeneration;

• Developing new therapeutic products and cartilage repair techniques;

• Conception of reliable osteoarthritis animal models.

How it Works

Arthro-BST™ is intended for the measurement of compression-induced streaming potentials of articular cartilage. These electric signals are measured using a sterile disposable indenter during gentle compression of the cartilage surface. The unique indenter design comprises a spherical surface overlaid with an array of 37 microelectrodes. The device calculates a quantitative parameter (QP) of cartilage electromechanical activity corresponding to the number of microelectrodes in contact with the cartilage when the sum of their streaming potential reaches 100 mV. A high QP indicates weak electromechanical properties and vice-versa. The QP is reproducible and independent of both the force applied and the indenter orientation.

Healthy Cartilage Arthritic Cartilage

Healthy Cartilage - Normal Streaming Potentials

During compression of normal cartilage, the flow of interstitial fluid displaces positively charged mobile ions relative to negatively charged proteoglycans entrapped within the collagen network. This generates an electric potential called streaming potential.

Arthritic Cartilage - Low Streaming Potentials

Degenerated cartilage is characterized by a loss of proteoglycans and a weakening of the collagen network. Due to a smaller displacement of positive ions relative to negatively charged proteoglycans, compression of arthritic cartilage generates abnormally low streaming potentials.


The Arthro-BST™ is currently available in Canada. The Benchtop Arthro-BST™, a non-medical device version equipped with a testing chamber and a positioning-aid camera, is available worldwide for in vitro application only.

Certificates of Compliance

Health Canada