Diffusive transport must play an important role in transporting nutrients into cartilage due to its avascular nature. Recent theoretical studies generally support the idea that cyclic loading enhances large molecule transport through advection. However, to date, reactive transport, i.e. the effects of solute binding, has not yet been taken into consideration in cyclically deformed cartilage. In the present study, we develop a reactive transport model to describe the potential role of binding of solute within cyclically deformed cartilage. Our results show that binding does have a significant effect on transport, particularly for the low IGF-I concentrations typical of synovial fluid. A dynamic loading regime of high strain magnitudes (up to 10%) in combination with high frequencies (e.g. 1 Hz) was seen to produce the most dramatic results with enhanced total uptake ratio as high as 25% averaged over the first 5 h of cyclic loading. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.