Spatial Variation in Material Properties in Fascicle-Bone Units from Human Patellar Tendon


Article Preview

An understanding of the mechanical responses of the patellar tendon (PT) subunits should aid in determining which portion of the tissue might best be used as a cruciate ligament replacement. Human cadaveric knees were obtained from young donors. Fascicle groups with patellar and tibial bone blocks (subunits) were cut to provide six equally-spaced test specimens for each PT. After potting each bone end in PMMA, specimens were mounted in a saline-filled chamber, preloaded to 0.26 N and then subjected to 40 cycles of preconditioning to 2.5 % of the initial length at a strain rate of 1.25 %/sec, and then preloaded to 0.26 N again and failed at a strain rate of 100 %/sec using an Instron. The moduli and maximum stresses were generally greater in the lateral and mid subunits than in the medial subunits. The strains to maximum stress were similar between the lateral and medial subunits, but mid subunits had larger strains. Most strain values were distributed between 10 % to 20 %. Mechanical responses of human PT do vary from location to location. In general, the mid and lateral subunits were stiffer and carried greater stresses than the medial subunits. The results of this research should eventually be important, e.g. in selecting which portion of the PT would be the most suitable for cruciate ligament replacements to use as an autograft. On the basis of strength and stiffness, the more lateral portion of the PT would seem to be more advantageous.



Key Engineering Materials (Volumes 326-328)

Edited by:

Soon-Bok Lee and Yun-Jae Kim




K. J. Chun and D.L. Butler, "Spatial Variation in Material Properties in Fascicle-Bone Units from Human Patellar Tendon", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 326-328, pp. 797-802, 2006

Online since:

December 2006




[1] D. L. Butler, M. D. Kay and D. C. Stouffer: Comparison of Material Properties in FascicleBone Units from Human Patellar Tendon and Knee Ligaments, J. Biomech (1986), p.425432.


[2] D. L. Butler, E. S. Grood, F. R. Noyes, R. F. Zernicke and K. Brackett: Effects of structure and strain measurement technique on the material properties of young human tendons and fascia, J. Biomech., Vol. 17 (1984), pp.579-796.


[3] K. J. Chun and R. P. Hubbard: Tendon responses depending on different anatomical locations, KSME International Journal, Vol. 17 (2003), No. 7, pp.1011-1015.


[4] F. G. Grigis, J. L. Marshall and A. R. S. Al Monajem: The Cruciate Ligaments of the Knee Joint. Anatomical, Functional, and Experimental Analysis, Clin. Orthop. Rel. Res., 106 (1975), pp.216-231.

[5] R. D. Harkness: Mechanical Properties of Collagenous Tissues, Treatise on Collagen, Vol. 2 (Edited by Gould, B. S. ), Academic Press, London (1968), pp.247-310.

[6] A. D. Kaiser: An examination of location-dependent material properties in human patellar tendon-bone subunits, Thesis for M. S., University of Cincinnati (1987).

[7] J. C. Kennedy, R. J. Hawkins, R. B. Willis and K. D. Danylchuk: Tendon Studies of Human Knee Ligaments, J. Bone Jt. Surg., 58-A (1976), pp.350-355.

[8] F. R. Noyes and E. S. Grood: Strength of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in Human and Rhesus Monkeys: Age and Species-Related Changes, J. Bone Jt. Surg., 58-A (1976), pp.1074-1082.


[9] S. L. -Y. Woo, M. A. Gomez, M. Inoue and W. M. Akeson: The time and history-dependent viscoelastic properties of the canine medial collateral ligament, J. Biomech. Engin., Vol. 103 (1981), pp.293-298.