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J Biomech Eng. 2002 Feb;124(1):85-93.

Effects of static stress on the mechanical properties of cultured collagen fascicles from the rabbit patellar tendon.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology, Kinki University, Wakayama, Japan.


In-vitro tissue culture experiments were performed to study the effects of static stress on the mechanical properties of collagen fascicles obtained from the rabbit patellar tendon. After collagen fascicles having the diameter of approximately 300 microm were cultured for 1 and 2 wk under static stress between 0 and 3 MPa, their mechanical properties and crimp morphology were determined using a micro-tensile tester and a light microscope, respectively. The tensile strength and tangent modulus of the fascicles were significantly decreased by culture under no load compared to control fascicles. A statistically significant correlation, which was described by a quadratic curve, was observed between applied stress and tensile strength. The maximum tensile strength (16.7 MPa) was obtained at the applied stress of 1.2 MPa; the strength was within a range of control values. There was a similar correlation between applied stress and tangent modulus, and the modulus was maintained at control level under 1.3 MPa stress. The stress of 1.2 to 1.3 MPa is equivalent to approximately 50 percent of the peak stress developed in the intact rabbit patellar tendon by running. Strain at failure of cultured collagen fascicles was negatively correlated with applied stress, and that at 1.2 to 1.3 MPa stress was almost the same as the control value. Crimp morphology in the fascicles cultured under about 1.2 MPa stress was similar to that in control fascicles. These results indicate that cultured collagen fascicles change the mechanical properties and structure in response to static tensile stress. In addition, their mechanical properties and structure are maintained at control level if the static stress of 50 percent of in-vivo peak stress is applied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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