Physical Response of Collagen Gels to Tensile Strain

[+] Author and Article Information
Baris Özerdem, Aydin Tözeren

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. 20064

J Biomech Eng 117(4), 397-401 (Nov 01, 1995) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2794198 History: Received May 25, 1993; Revised October 19, 1994; Online October 30, 2007


Extra cellular matrix, which provides physical support to epithelial and endothelial cells and to fibroblasts, also affects a number of important cell biological phenomena, such as cell motility and angiogenesis. Although type I collagen has long been recognized as the primary structural component of the extra cellular matrix, little is known about the physical properties of collagen gels. In this study, we used a servo-controlled linear actuator to impose quick stretches on dilute collagen gels. An axial strain imposed on the gel within few milliseconds resulted in a rapid development of gel tension in the direction of the strain. The gel tension then decayed toward a steady-state value within several seconds. The instantaneous gel stiffness increased and the relaxed gel stiffness decreased with the extent of gel stretching. These rheological parameters were also dependent on the density of the collagen network. Taken together the results indicated that collagen gels possess nonlinear viscoelastic properties.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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