Nicholas S. Kalson and David F. Holmes contributed equally to this work.
Slow stretching that mimics embryonic growth rate stimulates structural and mechanical development of tendon-like tissue in vitro
Article first published online: 19 OCT 2011
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 240, Issue 11, pages 2520–2528, November 2011
How to Cite
Kalson, N. S., Holmes, D. F., Herchenhan, A., Lu, Y., Starborg, T. and Kadler, K. E. (2011), Slow stretching that mimics embryonic growth rate stimulates structural and mechanical development of tendon-like tissue in vitro. Dev. Dyn., 240: 2520–2528. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.22760
- Issue published online: 19 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 19 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 SEP 2011
- Wellcome Trust
- bio-artificial tendon;
- mechanical properties;
- electron microscopy;
A distinctive feature of embryonic tendon development is the steady increase in collagen fibril diameter and associated improvement of tissue mechanical properties. A potential mechanical stimulus for these changes is slow stretching of the tendon during limb growth. Testing this hypothesis in vivo is complicated by the presence of other developmental processes including muscle development and innervation. Here we used a cell culture tendon-like construct to determine if slow stretch can explain the increases in fibril diameter and mechanical properties that are observed in vivo. Non-stretched constructs had an ultrastructural appearance and mechanical properties similar to those of early embryonic tendon. However, slowly stretching during 4 days in culture increased collagen fibril diameter, fibril packing volume, and mechanical stiffness, and thereby mimicked embryonic development. 3D EM showed cells with improved longitudinal alignment and elongated nuclei, which raises the hypothesis that nuclear deformation could be a novel mechanism during tendon development. Developmental Dynamics 240:2520–2528, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.