Ultrastructural determinants of murine Achilles tendon strength during healing

Todd C. Battaglia, Randall T. Clark, Anikar Chhabra, Veronique Gaschen, Ernst B. Hunziker, Borjana Mikic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mechanisms by which tendon strength is established during growth and development and restored following injury are not completely understood and are likely to be complex, multifactorial processes. Several studies examining the relationship between mechanical behavior and ultrastructural characteristics of tendons and ligaments during growth and maturation suggest that collagen fibril diameter is strongly correlated with tendon strength. Because of the similarities between development and repair processes of musculoskeletal tissues, increases in tendon strength during healing may be related to increases in fibril ultrastructural parameters such as fibril size, numerical density, and area fraction. In this study, we compared murine Achilles tendons at various time points after tenotomy with sham-operated controls in tensile tests to failure and examined tendons using electron microscopy to assess collagen fibril ultrastructure. We found that in the 6-week period following Achilles tenotomy, fibril mean diameter remained significantly smaller than sham-side diameter by a factor of 2-3. Despite the persistently small fibril size, increasing numerical density resulted in a gradual increase in fibril area fraction. Biomechanical strength did not reach that of intact tendons until some time between 5 and 7 weeks, approximately the same time period when fibril area fraction began to approach sham values. These data suggest that parameters other than collagen fibril size are most responsible for increased tendon strength during healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-224
Number of pages7
JournalConnective Tissue Research
Volume44
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Achilles Tendon
Tendons
Tenotomy
Collagen
Growth and Development
Ligaments
Electron Microscopy
Electron microscopy
Repair
Tissue
Wounds and Injuries
Growth

Keywords

  • Collagen
  • Fibrils
  • Healing
  • Tendon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Nephrology
  • Cell Biology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Battaglia, T. C., Clark, R. T., Chhabra, A., Gaschen, V., Hunziker, E. B., & Mikic, B. (2003). Ultrastructural determinants of murine Achilles tendon strength during healing. Connective Tissue Research, 44(5), 218-224.

Ultrastructural determinants of murine Achilles tendon strength during healing. / Battaglia, Todd C.; Clark, Randall T.; Chhabra, Anikar; Gaschen, Veronique; Hunziker, Ernst B.; Mikic, Borjana.

In: Connective Tissue Research, Vol. 44, No. 5, 2003, p. 218-224.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Battaglia, TC, Clark, RT, Chhabra, A, Gaschen, V, Hunziker, EB & Mikic, B 2003, 'Ultrastructural determinants of murine Achilles tendon strength during healing', Connective Tissue Research, vol. 44, no. 5, pp. 218-224.
Battaglia TC, Clark RT, Chhabra A, Gaschen V, Hunziker EB, Mikic B. Ultrastructural determinants of murine Achilles tendon strength during healing. Connective Tissue Research. 2003;44(5):218-224.
Battaglia, Todd C. ; Clark, Randall T. ; Chhabra, Anikar ; Gaschen, Veronique ; Hunziker, Ernst B. ; Mikic, Borjana. / Ultrastructural determinants of murine Achilles tendon strength during healing. In: Connective Tissue Research. 2003 ; Vol. 44, No. 5. pp. 218-224.
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