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. 1999 Jul;14(6):418-25.
doi: 10.1016/s0268-0033(99)00006-6.

Mechanical Properties of Collagen Fascicles From Stress-Shielded Patellar Tendons in the Rabbit

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Mechanical Properties of Collagen Fascicles From Stress-Shielded Patellar Tendons in the Rabbit

E Yamamoto et al. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). .

Abstract

Objective: To know the effects of stress shielding applied to the patellar tendon on the collagen fascicles.

Design: The mechanical properties of collagen fascicles obtained from stress-shielded patellar tendons were compared to those of collagen fascicles from non-treated patellar tendons and those of stress-shielded bulk patellar tendons in the rabbit.

Background: Effects of stress deprivation and stress enhancement on the mechanical properties of knee joint tendons and ligaments have been extensively studied in various animal models. However, the roles of such substructural components as collagen fascicles in the remodeling of tendons and ligaments have not been studied well.

Method: Tensile and viscoelastic properties of collagen fascicles obtained from the rabbit patellar tendons which were completely stress-shielded for 1 to 3 weeks by a special method developed by the authors were determined using a micro tensile tester.

Results: Stress shielding significantly decreased the tangent modulus, tensile strength, and strain at failure of collagen fascicles. However, these changes were much smaller than those observed in bulk tendons. The relaxation of stress-shielded collagen fascicles was greater than that of non-treated ones.

Conclusions: Ground substance and mechanical interaction between collagen fascicles have important roles in the remodeling of tendons and ligaments.

Relevance: Knowledge of the role of such substructural components as collagen fascicles in the remodeling of tendons and ligaments is essential not only to the basic biomechanics of knee joint tendons and ligaments but also to the development of their reconstruction methods using autografts.

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