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Open Access Effect of Age on Collagen Fibril Diameter in Rabbit Patellar Tendon Repair

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The effect of aging on soft tissue repair is poorly understood. We examined collagen fibril diameter in repairing patellar tendons from young adult and aging rabbits. We hypothesized that repairing tendons from older (geriatric) rabbits would have similar diameter fibrils compared with the younger (young adult) rabbits. Full-length, full-thickness, central-third (2.5 to 3 mm) patellar tendon injuries were made by cutting out the center of the tendon in twelve 1-y-old and thirteen 4- to 5.5 (average, 4.25)-y-old female New Zealand White rabbits. The contralateral tendon served as an unoperated control. The rabbits were euthanized at 6, 12, and 26 wk after surgery. The collagen fibril diameter was examined by electron microscopy at the patellar end, middle, and tibial end of the patellar tendon. There was no significant decline in collagen fibril diameter at any location in the aging rabbit healing patellar tendons compared with those of the 1-y-old rabbits. This study found that collagen fibril diameter was not altered with increasing age in the healing rabbit patellar tendon.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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