Accurate techniques for simulating sof t biological tissue deformation are an increasingly valuable tool in many areas of biomechanical analysis and medical image computing. To model the morphology and the material response of human articular cartilage a phenomenological and patient-specific simulation approach incorporating the collagen fibre fabric is proposed. We then demonstrate a unique combination of ultra-high field Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (17.6T DT-MRI) and a novel numerical approach incorporating the empirical data to predict the collagen fibre fabric deformation for an indentation experiment (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)