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Med Eng Phys. 2010 Jan;32(1):90-4. doi: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2009.11.002. Epub 2009 Nov 27.

Effect of collagen digestion on the passive elastic properties of diaphragm muscle in rat.

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Biomechanics Laboratory, Division of Orthopedic Research, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Effects of collagen digestion have been defined up to the fibril level. However, the question remains as to whether the alteration of skeletal muscle extracellular matrix (ECM) affects a muscle's passive elastic response. Various elastography methods have been applied as tools for evaluating the mechanical properties and ECM content of skeletal muscle. In an effort to develop an ECM altered skeletal muscle model, this study determined the effect of collagen digestion on the passive elastic properties of skeletal muscle. Passive mechanical properties of rat diaphragms were evaluated in various degrees of collagen digestion. Between cyclic loading tests, muscle strips were immersed in various concentrations of clostridium histolyticum derived bacterial collagenase. All samples were later viewed via light microscopy. Cyclic testing revealed linear relationships between passive muscle stiffness and digestion time at multiple concentrations. These results demonstrate that collagenase digestion of the ECM in skeletal muscle could be used as a simple and reliable model of mechanically altered in vitro tissue samples.

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