Tendons have complex mechanical behaviors that are nonlinear and time dependent. It is widely held that these behaviors are provided by the tissue’s composition and structure. It is generally thought that type I collagen provides the primary elastic strength to tendon while proteoglycans, such as decorin, play a role in failure and viscoelastic properties. This study sought to quantify such structure-function relationships by comparing tendon mechanical properties between normal mice and mice genetically engineered for altered type I collagen content and absence of decorin. Uniaxial tensile ramp to failure experiments were performed on tail tendon fascicles at two strain rates, 0.5%/s and 50%/s. Mutations in type I collagen led to reduced failure load and stiffness with no changes in failure stress, modulus or strain rate sensitivity. Fascicles without decorin had similar elastic properties to normal fascicles, but reduced strain rate sensitivity. Fascicles from immature mice, with increased decorin content compared to adult fascicles, had inferior elastic properties but higher strain rate sensitivity. These results showed that tendon viscoelasticity is affected by decorin content but not by collagen alterations. This study provides quantitative evidence for structure-function relationships in tendon, including the role of proteoglycan in viscoelasticity.
Strain-Rate Sensitive Mechanical Properties of Tendon Fascicles From Mice With Genetically Engineered Alterations in Collagen and Decorin
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Bioengineering Division November 8, 2002; revision received August 3, 2003. Associate Editor: J. S. Wayne.
Robinson , P. S., Lin , T. W., Reynolds, P. R., Derwin, K. A., Iozzo, R. V., and Soslowsky, L. J. (May 4, 2004). "Strain-Rate Sensitive Mechanical Properties of Tendon Fascicles From Mice With Genetically Engineered Alterations in Collagen and Decorin ." ASME. J Biomech Eng. April 2004; 126(2): 252–257. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1695570
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