In vitro loading models for tendon mechanobiology

Tao Wang, Peilin Chen, Monica Zheng, Allan Wang, David Lloyd, Toby Leys, Qiujian Zheng, Ming H Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Tendons are the connective tissue responsible for transferring force from muscles to bones. A key factor in tendon development, maturation, repair, and degradation is its biomechanical environment. Understanding tendon mechanobiology is essential for the development of injury prevention strategies, rehabilitation protocols and potentially novel treatments in tendon injury and degeneration. Despite the simple overall loading on tendon tissue, cells within the tissue in vivo experience a much more complex mechanical environment including tension, compression and shear forces. This creates a substantial challenge in the establishment of in vitro loading models of the tendon. This article reviews multiple loading models used for the study of tendon mechanobiology and summarizes the main findings. Although impressive progress has been achieved in the functionality and mimicry of in vitro loading models, an ideal platform is yet to be developed. Multidisciplinary approaches and collaborations will be the key to unveiling the tendon mechanobiology. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:566-575, 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-575
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research: a journal for musculoskeletal investigations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


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