Tendon Structure and Composition
Tendons are soft, fibrous tissues that connect muscle to bone. Their main function is to transfer muscle generated force to the bony skeleton, facilitating movement around a joint, and as such they are relatively passive, inelastic structures, able to resist high forces. Tendons are predominantly composed of collagen, which is arranged in a hierarchical manner parallel to the long axis of the tendon, resulting in high tensile strength. Tendon also contains a range of non-collagenous proteins, present in low amounts, which nevertheless have important functional roles. In this chapter, we describe general tendon composition and structure, and discuss how variations in composition and structure at different levels of the tendon hierarchy confer specific mechanical properties, which are related to tendon function.
KeywordsCollagen Fibril Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Myotendinous Junction Tendon Structure
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