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Investigators at University of Utah Zero in on Extracellular Matrix Proteins

June 24, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Investigators publish new report on Proteins. According to news reporting from Salt Lake City, Utah, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Aligned, collagenous tissues such as tendons and ligaments are composed primarily of water and type I collagen, organized hierarchically into nanoscale fibrils, microscale fibers and mesoscale fascicles. Force transfer across scales is complex and poorly understood."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the University of Utah, "Since innervation, the vasculature, damage mechanisms and mechanotransduction occur at the microscale and mesoscale, understanding multiscale interactions is of high importance. This study used a physical model in combination with a computational model to isolate and examine the mechanisms of force transfer between scales. A collagen-based surrogate served as the physical model. The surrogate consisted of extruded collagen fibers embedded within a collagen gel matrix. A micromechanical finite element model of the surrogate was validated using tensile test data that were recorded using a custom tensile testing device mounted on a confocal microscope. Results demonstrated that the experimentally measured macroscale strain was not representative of the microscale strain, which was highly inhomogeneous. The micromechanical model, in combination with a macroscopic continuum model, revealed that the microscale inhomogeneity resulted from size effects in the presence of a constrained boundary. A sensitivity study indicated that significant scale effects would be present over a range of physiologically relevant inter-fiber spacing values and matrix material properties."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "The results indicate that the traditional continuum assumption is not valid for describing the macroscale behavior of the surrogate and that boundary-induced size effects are present."

For more information on this research see: Micromechanical model of a surrogate for collagenous soft tissues: development, validation and analysis of mesoscale size effects. Biomechanics and Modeling In Mechanobiology, 2013;12(6):1195-204. (Springer -; Biomechanics and Modeling In Mechanobiology -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting S.P. Reese, Dept. of Bioengineering and Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States. Additional authors for this research include B.J. Ellis and J.A Weiss (see also Proteins).

Keywords for this news article include: Utah, Collagen, United States, Salt Lake City, North and Central America, Extracellular Matrix Proteins.

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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