Tendões são irredutivelmente complexos???

segunda-feira, março 26, 2018

In tendons, differing physiological requirements lead to functionally distinct nanostructures

Andrew S. Quigley, Stéphane Bancelin, Dylan Deska-Gauthier, François Légaré, Laurent Kreplak & Samuel P. Veres

Scientific Reports Volume 8, Article number: 4409 (2018)

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Biomedical engineering Tendons Tissues

Received: 02 October 2017 Accepted: 28 February 2018

Published online: 13 March 2018


The collagen-based tissues of animals are hierarchical structures: even tendon, the simplest collagenous tissue, has seven to eight levels of hierarchy. Tailoring tissue structure to match physiological function can occur at many different levels. We wanted to know if the control of tissue architecture to achieve function extends down to the nanoscale level of the individual, cable-like collagen fibrils. Using tendons from young adult bovine forelimbs, we performed stress-strain experiments on single collagen fibrils extracted from tendons with positional function, and tendons with energy storing function. Collagen fibrils from the two tendon types, which have known differences in intermolecular crosslinking, showed numerous differences in their responses to elongation. Unlike those from positional tendons, fibrils from energy storing tendons showed high strain stiffening and resistance to disruption in both molecular packing and conformation, helping to explain how these high stress tissues withstand millions of loading cycles with little reparative remodeling. Functional differences in load-bearing tissues are accompanied by important differences in nanoscale collagen fibril structure.


This work was supported by grants to SPV and LK from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Author information


Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Andrew S. Quigley & Laurent Kreplak

Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Énergie, Matériaux, Télécommunication, Varennes, Canada

Stéphane Bancelin & François Légaré

Department of Medical Neuroscience, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Dylan Deska-Gauthier

School of Biomedical Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Laurent Kreplak & Samuel P. Veres

Division of Engineering, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada

Samuel P. Veres


S.P.V. and L.K. conceived the study; A.S.Q. performed the A.F.M. work and data analysis; S.B. performed the S.H.G. work and analysis under the supervision of F.L.; D.D.G. performed the confocal microscopy; all authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Laurent Kreplak or Samuel P. Veres.

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