Bimodal collagen fibril diameter distributions direct age-related variations in tendon resilience and resistance to rupture.

Goh K L, Holmes D F, Y Lu, P P Purslow, Kadler K E, Bechet D, Timothy Wess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scaling relationships have been formulated to investigate the influence of collagen fibril diameter (D) on age-related variations in the strain energy density of tendon. Transmission electron microscopy was used to quantify D in tail tendon from 1.7- to 35.3-mo-old (C57BL/6) male mice. Frequency histograms of D for all age groups were modeled as two normally distributed subpopulations with smaller (DD1) and larger (DD2) mean Ds, respectively. Both DD1 and DD2 increase from 1.6 to 4.0 mo but decrease thereafter. From tensile tests to rupture, two strain energy densities were calculated: 1) uE [from initial loading until the yield stress (?Y)], which contributes primarily to tendon resilience, and 2) uF [from ?Y through the maximum stress (?U) until rupture], which relates primarily to resistance of the tendons to rupture. As measured by the normalized strain energy densities uE/?Y and uF/?U, both the resilience and resistance to rupture increase with increasing age and peak at 23.0 and 4.0 mo, respectively, before decreasing thereafter. Multiple regression analysis reveals that increases in uE/?Y (resilience energy) are associated with decreases in DD1 and increases in DD2, whereas uF/?U (rupture energy) is associated with increases in DD1 alone. These findings support a model where age-related variations in tendon resilience and resistance to rupture can be directed by subtle changes in the bimodal distribution of Ds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)878-888
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume113
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

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