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      Murine patellar tendon biomechanical properties and regional strain patterns during natural tendon-to-bone healing after acute injury.

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          Abstract

          Tendon-to-bone healing following acute injury is generally poor and often fails to restore normal tendon biomechanical properties. In recent years, the murine patellar tendon (PT) has become an important model system for studying tendon healing and repair due to its genetic tractability and accessible location within the knee. However, the mechanical properties of native murine PT, specifically the regional differences in tissue strains during loading, and the biomechanical outcomes of natural PT-to-bone healing have not been well characterized. Thus, in this study, we analyzed the global biomechanical properties and regional strain patterns of both normal and naturally healing murine PT at three time points (2, 5, and 8 weeks) following acute surgical rupture of the tibial enthesis. Normal murine PT exhibited distinct regional variations in tissue strain, with the insertion region experiencing approximately 2.5 times greater strain than the midsubstance at failure (10.80±2.52% vs. 4.11±1.40%; mean±SEM). Injured tendons showed reduced structural (ultimate load and linear stiffness) and material (ultimate stress and linear modulus) properties compared to both normal and contralateral sham-operated tendons at all healing time points. Injured tendons also displayed increased local strain in the insertion region compared to contralateral shams at both physiologic and failure load levels. 93.3% of injured tendons failed at the tibial insertion, compared to only 60% and 66.7% of normal and sham tendons, respectively. These results indicate that 8 weeks of natural tendon-to-bone healing does not restore normal biomechanical function to the murine PT following injury.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Biomech
          Journal of biomechanics
          Elsevier BV
          1873-2380
          0021-9290
          Jun 27 2014
          : 47
          : 9
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Biomedical Engineering Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, United States; Medical Scientist Training Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, United States. Electronic address: gildays@mail.uc.edu.
          [2 ] Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, United States.
          [3 ] Biomedical Engineering Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, United States.
          Article
          S0021-9290(13)00483-1 NIHMS540304
          10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.10.029
          3995904
          24210849

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