The aim of my research is to use phase contrast enhanced X-ray tomography to answer some still open questions regarding Achilles tendon structure and tendon structural response to mechanical load during healing.
Achilles tendons connect the calf muscle to the heal bone. They are the longest tendons and most frequently injured in humans. Ruptures are common for both professional athletes and the general population.
Tendons respond to mechanical loads by altering their structure, composition, and consequently mechanical properties. Mechanical loading is required for tendon healing. However, the effect of loading on tendon structure and mechanical properties is yet to be determined. This causes inconsistency in treatments for tendon healing.
My project involves studying the 3D organization of rat tendon collagen at micrometrical resolution in tendons subjected to normal loading and those subjected to reduced loading following immobilization.