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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Oct 21;336(2):424-9.

Cyclic tensile strain upregulates collagen synthesis in isolated tendon fascicles.

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Medical Engineering Division and IRC in Biomedical Materials, Department of Engineering, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK.


Mechanical stimulation has been implicated as an important regulatory factor in tendon homeostasis. In this study, a custom-designed tensile loading system was used to apply controlled mechanical stimulation to isolated tendon fascicles, in order to examine the effects of 5% cyclic tensile strain at 1 Hz on cell proliferation and matrix synthesis. Sample viability and gross structural composition were maintained over a 24 h loading period. Data demonstrated no statistically significant differences in cell proliferation or glycosaminoglycan production, however, collagen synthesis was upregulated with the application of cyclic tensile strain over the 24 h period. Moreover, a greater proportion of the newly synthesised matrix was retained within the sample after loading. These data provide evidence of altered anabolic activity within tendon in response to mechanical stimuli, and suggest the importance of cyclic tensile loading for the maintenance of the collagen hierarchy within tendon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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