Mechanical characteristics of native tendon slices for tissue engineering scaffold

Ting Wu Qin, Qingshan Chen, Yu Long Sun, Scott P. Steinmann, Peter C. Amadio, Kai Nan An, Chunfeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to characterize the mechanical behavior of tendon slices with different thicknesses. Tendon slices of 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 μm thickness were mechanically tested. The 300 μm slices were further tested for strength and modulus after 21,000-cycle fatigue testing under different applied strain levels (0, 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, and 12%). The tendon slice structure, morphology, and viability of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) seeded onto the slices were also examined with histology, scanning electron microscopy, and vital cell labeling, respectively. Tendon slices 300 μm or more in thickness had similar ultimate tensile strength and Young's modulus to the intact tendon bundle. A strain of 5% or less did not cause any structural damage, nor did it change the mechanical properties of a 300 μm-thick tendon slice after 21,000-cycle fatigue testing. BMSCs were viable between and on the tendon slices after 2 weeks in tissue culture. This study demonstrated that, if tendon slices are used as a scaffold for tendon tissue engineering, slices 300 μm or more in thickness would be preferable from a mechanical strength point of view. If mechanical stimulation is performed for seeded-cell preparations, 5% strain or less would be appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-758
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Volume100 B
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • cell viability
  • fatigue
  • mechanical test
  • slice
  • tendon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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