Structural and mechanical effects of in vivo fatigue damage induction on murine tendon

Jedd B. Sereysky, Nelly Andarawis-Puri, Karl J. Jepsen, Evan L. Flatow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to develop and validate an in vivo mouse model of tendon fatigue and use this model to investigate and quantify the physical manifestations of fatigue damage in mouse tendon. Patellar tendons of C57BL/6J mice were fatigue loaded at 2 Hz to three endpoints (4 N peak force per cycle for 1 h, 6 N for 1 h, and 4 N for 2 h), during which hysteresis, tangent stiffness, and peak strain of each cycle were measured. Damage accumulation was then quantified using in situ histology, and each tendon was loaded monotonically to failure. Histological damage increased significantly in all three groups (≥2-fold), and monotonic stiffness decreased significantly in the 6 N, 1 h and 4 N, 2-h groups (∼25%), suggesting that damage initially manifests as changes to the collagen structure of the tendon and subsequently as changes to the function. For the fatigue loading protocols used in this study, none of the evaluated real-time parameters from fatigue loading correlated with damage area fraction measured structural damage or monotonic stiffness, suggesting that they are not suited to serve as proxies for damage accumulation. In future studies, this model will be used to compare the biological response of mouse tendon to fatigue damage across genetic strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-972
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Collagen
  • Damage
  • Microstructure
  • Murine
  • Tendon


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