Throughout this spring, I worked in Dr. Spencer Lake’s Musculoskeletal Soft Tissue Laboratory to begin testing bovine tendon 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 with and without elastin. This process was completed by utilizing elastase, which enzymatically degrades elastin and renders itnon-functional. Once the elastin is degraded, the mechanical properties of the tendon without elastin was tested using an Instron. More specifically, I utilized a method that was created in my previous semester’s work, which consisted of a repeatable testing method as well as a minimal change in mechanical properties of the tendon. Overall, 30 tendons were tested which included the long digital extensor tendon (LDET) and superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT). It was found the LDET seemed to have a more aggressive relaxation and other mechanical properties changed, while the SDFT data showed inconclusive results. Although the results might be initially frustrating, we are working to better analyze to look at different parameters and creating a more consistent protocol.

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