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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Viscoelastic behavior of discrete human collagen fibrils

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Whole tendon and fibril bundles display viscoelastic behavior, but to the best of our knowledge this property has not been directly measured in single human tendon fibrils. In the present work an atomic force microscopy (AFM) approach was used for tensile testing of two human patellar tendon fibrils. Fibrils were obtained from intact human fascicles, without any pre-treatment besides frozen storage. In the dry state a single isolated fibril was anchored to a substrate using epoxy glue, and the end of the fibril was glued on to an AFM cantilever for tensile testing. In phosphate buffered saline, cyclic testing was performed in the pre-yield region at different strain rates, and the elastic response was determined by a stepwise stress relaxation test. The elastic stress-strain response corresponded to a second-order polynomial fit, while the viscous response showed a linear dependence on the strain. The slope of the viscous response showed a strain rate dependence corresponding to a power function of powers 0.242 and 0.168 for the two patellar tendon fibrils, respectively. In conclusion, the present work provides direct evidence of viscoelastic behavior at the single fibril level, which has not been previously measured.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Volume3
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)112-5
Number of pages4
ISSN1751-6161
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

ID: 32368476