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New Discovery may Help Prevent Tendon Injury


New Discovery may Help Prevent Tendon Injury

(epharmanews) – Tendon injuries cost the United Kingdom more than £7bn every year and now scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have identified a vital component of tendons which could help treat them.

In a new research, published in Royal Society journal Interface, the scientists said they found that the tendons component known as the interfascicular matrix (IFM) is essential for their function.

"Tendon disorders are highly debilitating and painful, and may herald the end of an Olympic athlete's career," said co-author Dr. Hazel Screen, a senior lecturer in medical engineering at Queen Mary, University of London.

This research noted that changes in IFM can be responsible for tendon injuries, according to Dr. Screen. Researchers from Queen Mary, along with colleagues from University of Liverpool and University College London are working on a project in which they have been dissecting tendons from horses in order to better understand the role of the IFM. Tendon injury is common in horses as well as humans. It also costs billions every year.

"A specific tendon in horses known as the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) stretches and recoils in the same way as the Achilles tendon and is injured in the same way,” said lead author Dr. Chavaunne Thorpe from the School of Engineering and Materials Science at Queen Mary, University of London.

"We tested how the components within the SDFT worked to enable the tendon to stretch and function effectively.

"When we looked at its capacity to stretch, we found that the IFM, previously thought to be unimportant in tendon function, was essential to SDFT extension in horses. We found that tendons with a stiffer IFM were not able to stretch as far before they failed."

The researchers are now trying to find a way to benefit from this new discovery to limit or even prevent tendon overuse injuries. "If we are able to manipulate the IFM, we could potentially design a diagnostic test to see whether someone is more susceptible to tendon injury than others, and also pave the way for prospective treatments.” Dr. Screen concluded.


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Prepared by: Hasan Zaytoon


Source :

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