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J Biomech. 2012 Apr 30;45(7):1288-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.01.030. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Mechanical property changes during neonatal development and healing using a multiple regression model.

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  • 1McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6081, United States.


During neonatal development, tendons undergo a well orchestrated process whereby extensive structural and compositional changes occur in synchrony to produce a normal tissue. Conversely, during the repair response to injury, structural and compositional changes occur, but a mechanically inferior tendon is produced. As a result, developmental processes have been postulated as a potential paradigm for elucidation of mechanistic insight required to develop treatment modalities to improve adult tissue healing. The objective of this study was to compare and contrast normal development with injury during early and late developmental healing. Using backwards multiple linear regressions, quantitative and objective information was obtained into the structure-function relationships in tendon. Specifically, proteoglycans were shown to be significant predictors of modulus during early developmental healing but not during late developmental healing or normal development. Multiple independent parameters predicted percent relaxation during normal development, however, only biglycan and fibril diameter parameters predicted percent relaxation during early developmental healing. Lastly, multiple differential predictors were observed between early development and early developmental healing; however, no differential predictors were observed between late development and late developmental healing. This study presents a model through which objective analysis of how compositional and structural parameters that affect the development of mechanical parameters can be quantitatively measured. In addition, information from this study can be used to develop new treatment and therapies through which improved adult tendon healing can be obtained.

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