Comparison of the Structure-Function Relationships in Tendon during Development and Healing
During development, tendons undergo a well orchestrated process whereby extensive structural and compositional changes occur in synchrony to produce a normal tissue. During healing, structural and compositional changes occur as well, but in this case, a mechanically inferior tendon is produced. As a result, the process of development has been postulated as a potential paradigm through which improved tissue healing may occur. Structure and composition may both play fundamental roles in the mechanical integrity of tendon; however, it is unknown which factors are most important to the production of normal tendon. Comparing and contrasting the beneficial and detrimental effects of development and healing will help distinguish these factors. Some similarities and differences between these events have already been studied. For example, cross-sectional area increases in both development and healing, but biglycan remains elevated only during healing. There is however very little quantitative evidence on the structure-function relationship during normal development and healing during development. Understanding this relationship will identify the key factors to target for new therapies and tissue engineered constructs. Therefore, the overall objective of this study is to asses the relationship between the structure, composition and biomechanics of the developing and developmental healing tendon to identify the key factors necessary to produce a functional tendon.
For more information see:
Ansorge HL, Soslowsky, LJ. Mechanical properties of the developing rat Achilles tendon. Transactions of the 55th Annual Orthopaedic Research Society Meeting, 34:1436, 2009.