ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-150211-17
Tensile properties of craniofacial tendons in the mature and aged zebrafish
Shah, R.R., Nerurkar, N.L., Wang, C., Galloway, J.L.
Date: 2015
Source: Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society   33(6): 867-73 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Galloway, Jenna
Keywords: aging, mechanical properties, tendon, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Aging/physiology*
  • Animals
  • Models, Animal
  • Tendons/physiology*
  • Tensile Strength
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
PubMed: 25665155 Full text @ J. Orthop. Res.
The zebrafish Danio rerio is a powerful model for the study of development, regenerative biology, and human disease. However, the analysis of load-bearing tissues such as tendons and ligaments has been limited in this system. This is largely due to technical limitations that preclude accurate measurement of their mechanical properties. Here, we present a custom tensile testing system that applies nano-Newton scale forces to zebrafish tendons as small as 1 mm in length. Tendon properties were remarkably similar to mammalian tendons, including stress-strain nonlinearity and a linear modulus (515 ± 152 MPa) that aligned closely with mammalian data. Additionally, a simple exponential constitutive law used to describe tendon mechanics was successfully fit to zebrafish tendons; the associated material constants agreed with literature values for mammalian tendons. Finally, mature and aged zebrafish comparisons revealed a significant decline in mechanical function with age. Based on the exponential constitutive model, age related changes were primarily caused by a reduction in nonlinearity (e.g. changes in collagen crimp or fiber recruitment). These findings demonstrate the utility of zebrafish as a model to study tendon biomechanics in health and disease. Moreover, these findings suggest that tendon mechanical behavior is highly conserved across vertebrates. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.