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Biomechanics and mechanobiology of the Achilles tendon (Tendon_Mechbio)
Start date: Nov 1, 2014, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Tendons are part of the mechanosensitive musculoskeletal system and link muscles to bones. They have a predominantly mechanical role by regulating and transmitting forces. Tendon injuries are characterised by degraded tissue matrix that leads to inflammation and pain, and could lead to ruptures. The restoration process of tendons is extremely slow and although existing treatments include physiotherapy, the efficiency of loading has not been proven yet. This is due to our limited knowledge in how biophysical stimuli affects tendon healing, remodelling and biomechanical properties.In this application, we propose to investigate how the response of tendons to loading can be used to accelerate Achilles tendon healing and enhance the tissue’s biomechanical properties. Our approach will combine computational and experimental models to investigate: 1) the multistructural biomechanical behaviour of the intact Achilles tendon; 2) explore the mechanobiological effects on tissue composition, structure and biomechanical properties during repair; 3) identify the biophysical stimuli that promote tendon differentiation.This research will primarily develop novel computational tools that determine magnitudes and timing of loading on tendons that accelerate recovery and prevent re-rupture. The outcomes will help clinicians to improve the efficiency of existing therapies and propose new ones for enhanced tendon repair. The proposed project contributes to basic science on tendon mechanobiology which has clinical applications that improve public health.This application plans to expand the researcher’s multidisciplinary research skills by giving her a new set of skills in experimental tendon mechanobiology and biomechanics. She will also hone her existing computational skills in musculoskeletal research to strengthen her niche. The researcher will have the possibility to conduct training in leadership and pedagogy to increase her chances to secure a faculty position after the fellowshi
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