Aging and matrix viscoelasticity affect multiscale tendon properties and tendon derived cell behavior

Citation:

Freedman BR, Knecht RS, Tinguely Y, Eskibozkurt EG, Wang CS, Mooney DJ. Aging and matrix viscoelasticity affect multiscale tendon properties and tendon derived cell behavior. Acta Biomater. 2022;143 :63-71.

Date Published:

2022 Apr 15

Abstract:

Aging is the largest risk factor for Achilles tendon associated disorders and rupture. Although Achilles tendon macroscale elastic properties are suggested to decline with aging, less is known about the effect of maturity and aging on multiscale viscoelastic properties and their effect on tendon cell behavior. Here, we show dose dependent changes in native multiscale tendon mechanical and structural properties and uncover several nanoindentation properties predicted by tensile mechanics and echogenicity. Alginate hydrogel systems designed to mimic juvenile tendon microscale mechanics revealed that stiffness and viscoelasticity affected Achilles tendon cell aspect ratio and proliferation during aging. This knowledge provides further evidence for the negative impact of maturity and aging on tendon and begins to elucidate how viscoelasticity can control tendon derived cell morphology and expansion. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Aging is the largest risk factor for Achilles tendon associated disorders and rupture. Although Achilles tendon macroscale elastic properties are suggested to decline with aging, less is known about the effect of maturity and aging on multiscale viscoelastic properties and their effect on tendon cell behavior. Here, we show dose dependent changes in native multiscale tendon mechanical and structural properties and uncover several nanoindentation properties predicted by tensile mechanics and echogenicity. Alginate hydrogel systems designed to mimic juvenile tendon microscale mechanics revealed that stiffness and viscoelasticity affected Achilles tendon cell spreading and proliferation during aging. This knowledge provides further evidence for the negative impact of maturity and aging on tendon and begins to elucidate how viscoelasticity can control tendon derived cell morphology and expansion.