Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery brings scientists step closer to understanding tendon injury

Date:
January 9, 2014
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a specific mechanism that is crucial to effective tendon function, which could reveal why older people are more prone to tendon injury.

This is the scanning electron microscopy image showing helix structure in a tendon fascicle -- the subunit that makes up a tendon. Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have shown that the helix structure enables tendons to stretch and recover. Repetitive loading causes the fascicles to unwind and be less effective, triggering them to become damaged or leading to injury. The researchers also noted that aging affects the helix structure, making aged tendons more prone to injury.
Credit: Queen Mary University of London

Research led by Queen Mary University of London has discovered a specific mechanism that is crucial to effective tendon function, which could reveal why older people are more prone to tendon injury.

Related Articles


Tendons, such as the Achilles, connect muscle to bone, and are loaded repeatedly during movement. When exposed to particularly high loads, this can cause injury in some individuals. The risk of injury increases with age, but scientists have never fully understood why.

Tendon injury is common in horses as well as humans, and the team, working together with scientists from the University of Liverpool, University College London and the University of East Anglia, used tendons from horses already deceased to understand injury risk, and demonstrate the mechanism in action.

The research team found that fascicles -- the subunit that makes up tendons -- are coiled like a spring, or helix. They have shown that the helix structure enables tendons to stretch and recover, with results suggesting that damage to the helix stops the tendon working properly.

"The helical shape of the fascicles seems to be critical in maintaining tendon elasticity," explains co-author Dr Hazel Screen, a Reader in medical engineering at Queen Mary's School of Engineering and Materials Science.

"Repetitive loading causes the fascicles to unwind and be less effective, triggering them to become damaged or leading to injury."

The team also showed how aging affects the helix.

Co-author Dr Chavaunne Thorpe said: "The findings suggest that the helix structure is altered with age resulting in a decreased ability to withstand further loading and so making aged tendons more prone to injury."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hazel Screen, Chavaunne Thorpe et al. Fascicles from energy-storing tendons show an age-specific response to cyclic fatigue loading. Interface, January 2014

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Discovery brings scientists step closer to understanding tendon injury." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109004001.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2014, January 9). Discovery brings scientists step closer to understanding tendon injury. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109004001.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Discovery brings scientists step closer to understanding tendon injury." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109004001.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) A new study found losing just half an hour of sleep could make you gain weight. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) Liberia&apos;s last Ebola patient has been released, and the country hasn&apos;t recorded a new case in a week. However, fears of another outbreak still exist. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins