Recruitment of Tendon Crimp With Applied Tensile Strain

[+] Author and Article Information
Kristi A. Hansen, Jennifer K. Barton

Biomedical Engineering Program, The University of Arizona, 1230 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721

Jeffrey A. Weiss

Department of Bioengineering, The University of Utah, 50 S Central Campus Dr #2480, Salt Lake City, UT 84112

J Biomech Eng 124(1), 72-77 (Aug 16, 2001) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1427698 History: Received August 17, 2000; Revised August 16, 2001
Copyright © 2002 by ASME
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Schematic illustrating the ultrastructure of rat tail tendon and the level at which crimp is observed within the structural hierarchy. Tendons and ligaments are composed mainly of type I collagen. Collagen molecules form into microfibrils that aggregate to form subfibrils. A number of subfibrils form fibrils, which associate into fibers or fascicles 1. Fascicles finally assemble to form tendons and ligaments. Crimp is observed at the level of the fascicle.
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Mechanical testing device used to apply tensile strain to fascicles while imaging with OCT. The strain micrometer applied incremental changes in axial strain, while the motorized imaging stage was used to acquire the OCT images. Inset shows a close-up of the clamps with a fascicle secured for testing.
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OCT system schematic. Using Michelson interferometry, backscattered light from the sample and translating retroreflector interferes when the pathlength is within the coherence length of the source.
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OCT (top) and OM image comparison and measurement of crimp band period. The two images were obtained from the same location on a single fascicle. The top image is an OCT image and the bottom is from OM. The vertical arrows indicate that a bright band appears in the OCT image at the same location on the fascicle that a transition between light and dark bands occurs in the OM image. Measurements from OCT images were taken across each visible band pair as indicated by the horizontal arrow (width of horizontal arrow=110 microns).
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Average stress-strain curve for all fascicles tested (mean±SEM, N=8 fascicles) and percent of crimp bands extinguished as a function of applied tensile strain
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Box plot of the change in crimp band widths, showing both positive and negative changes and their distribution. Boxes are 25th to 75th percentile, whiskers show the 10th and 90th percentile, dashed lines show the means, solid lines show the medians, and the circles are the 5th and 95th percentiles.
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Crimp lengths tracked for a single sample as a function of applied tensile strain
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Average band period as a function of applied tensile strain. Mean±SEM, N=52 band pair periods.
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OCT image sequence for rat tail fascicle under tensile strains of (A) 0 percent, (B) 0.5 percent, (C) 1.0 percent, (D) 1.5 percent, (E) 2.0 percent, and (F) 2.5 percent. Bands first began to disappear on the outer edges. Horizontal image size=2000 microns, vertical image size=350 microns.




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