The Ultrastructure and Mechanics of Elastic Ligaments
The major central part of elastic ligaments is constituted by longitudinally orientated elastic fibres, each surrounded by a sheath of spiral ly orientated col 1 agen fibrils with an intervening thin layer of microfibrils. In the terminal region of such ligaments the orientation of the collagen fibrils is longitudinal and the elastic fibres end within the ligament without any attachment to bone. The ligament response to a first, unphysiologi-catlly high load produces a continuous stress-strain curve. On the other hand the curve becomes biphasic Sifter repeated application of such loads. It is suggested that three factors are involved in this mechanical response, namely, frictional forces between elastic fibres and their sheaths, compressive forces exerted upon elastic fibres by their sheaths, and intra-sheath friction due to rearrangement of the constituent collagen fibrils.
KeywordsCollagen Fibril Frictional Force Tensile Modulus Tangent Modulus Spiral Angle
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