Event Title

Achilles Tendon Stiffness and Strength In Mice: Is It Sex Dependent?

Presenter Information

Kristin A. RamirezFollow

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Meir Barak

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

Honors Thesis Committee

Meir Barak, Ph.D., D.V.M.; Laura Glasscock, Ph.D.; Julian Smith III, Ph.D.

Location

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 222

Start Date

22-4-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 2:15 PM

Description

The Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon in the entire body; it attaches the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles to the calcaneus. Since the Achilles tendon has a limited blood supply and is subjected to high stresses, it is extremely vulnerable to injury. It is a well-known fact that male athletes are more prone to injuring their Achilles tendons than are female athletes. The goal of this study is to find the stiffness and strength of mice Achilles tendons (serving as an animal model) and to determine whether these properties are significantly different between males and females. It is hypothesized that the females’ Achilles tendons will have greater ability for extension, resulting in lower stiffness and higher strength compared to males’ tendons. To this end, Achilles tendons of 39 mice (14 males and 25 females) were tested in tension until failure and their stiffness and strength were measured from the resulting load deformation curves. Evaluating differences in mechanical properties of the Achilles tendon between the two sexes may help us to better understand why males are more likely to suffer Achilles tendon injuries such as ruptures.

Comments

McNair Scholar

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Apr 22nd, 2:00 PM Apr 22nd, 2:15 PM

Achilles Tendon Stiffness and Strength In Mice: Is It Sex Dependent?

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 222

The Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon in the entire body; it attaches the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles to the calcaneus. Since the Achilles tendon has a limited blood supply and is subjected to high stresses, it is extremely vulnerable to injury. It is a well-known fact that male athletes are more prone to injuring their Achilles tendons than are female athletes. The goal of this study is to find the stiffness and strength of mice Achilles tendons (serving as an animal model) and to determine whether these properties are significantly different between males and females. It is hypothesized that the females’ Achilles tendons will have greater ability for extension, resulting in lower stiffness and higher strength compared to males’ tendons. To this end, Achilles tendons of 39 mice (14 males and 25 females) were tested in tension until failure and their stiffness and strength were measured from the resulting load deformation curves. Evaluating differences in mechanical properties of the Achilles tendon between the two sexes may help us to better understand why males are more likely to suffer Achilles tendon injuries such as ruptures.