Throughout this fall, I worked in Dr. Spencer Lake’s Musculoskeletal Soft Tissue Laboratory testing bovine tendons to study the effects of elastin on the mechanical properties of tendon. To study the effects of elastin, the mechanical properties of tendon were compared when elastin was and was not functionally active. This process was completed by utilizing elastase, which enzymatically degrades elastin and renders it non-functional. Once the elastin was degraded, the mechanical properties of the tendon without elastin was tested using an Instron. Previously, 20 tendons were tested which included the bovine long digital extensor tendon (LDET) and bovine superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT). However, after testing and data analysis, it was found that the test preparation system was flawed, and so the methods for testing were updated and validated. Overall, three bovine DDFT samples were used to validate the updated methods, and after mechanical struggles with the testing machine, the testing process was validated.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission