Tendon Inter-fascicular Matrix for Long-term Tendon Health

Principal investigator: Hazel SCREEN
Funding source(s): Horserace Betting Levy Board
 Start: 01-04-2015  /  End: 31-03-2017
 Amount: £7,000

Tendon injuries remain one of the most common problems in the Thoroughbred racehorse; however, how tendons function and how they become injured are both poorly understood. Tendons which are particularly prone to injury are highly loaded during use and have to be stretchy to make locomotion more efficient. We have recently discovered the mechanism by which such tendons work to allow stretching and recoil during locomotion. We have also shown that tendons develop this specific ability to stretch and recoil after birth, and this specialist property is fully developed by 2 years old. We will study developing tendons to fully understand the process by which a key tendon develops its unique properties which are vital for orthopaedic function.

This opens up exciting opportunities to develop approaches, such as training or conditioning, which can fully optimise tendon quality to maximise orthopaedic health through life, ultimately reducing the incidence of tendon injuries.