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Researchers blend orthopedics, engineering to better repair torn rotator cuffs
Date:2/6/2014

es wrong in healing.

"When material is structured like tendon and bone, mechanisms for smooth attachment and transfer of stress are harder to design," Genin says. "Nature has a great design, and surgical repair techniques might be improved by better understanding this. We're applying our experience in bridging length scales and modeling toughness and resilience to tissues to try to understand both how the natural tendon to bone insertion works and what goes wrong in healing.

"We need engineering approaches to determine what's important," Genin says. "What needs to be recreated in healing, and what is an artifact of development that brought it to that point?" Genin says.

The team plans to study the tendon-bone attachment using a variety of imaging methods working with Mark Anastasio, PhD, interim chair and professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. They will use scanning transmission electron microscopy-electron energy loss spectroscopy to determine mineral and collagen distributions at the site of insertion of tendon to bone and perform mechanical testing on the collagen fibers. The work will be the first mechanical measurements of collagen fibers derived from mammals and the first validation of associated molecular dynamics calculations.

In addition, they will use synchrotron X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and polarized light microscopy to determine the distributions of mineral content and collagen orientation along the tendon-to-bone insertion. They will also use phase contrast X-ray computer tomography to determine the 3-D geometry of tendon and bone and tissue-level testing to determine the mechanics of the tendon-to-bone insertion.

Additional WUSTL collaborators include Leesa Galatz, MD, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery who specializes in rotator cuff repair, and Jill Pasteris, PhD, professor of earth & planetary sciences and a mineralogist with expertise
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Contact: Jim Dryden
jdryden@wustl.edu
314-286-0110
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert  

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