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Collagen mechanics: from basic understanding to clinical applications

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Collagen is the ubiquitous structural protein that totals approximately 25% of the protein in humans. Because of its importance in load-bearing tissues, such as bone, cartilage, and ligament, collagen has increasingly been the focus of biomechanical research in the last three decades. As technology has developed, studies have diminished in characteristic length-scale to emphasize molecular effects of both self-assembly and mechanical performance, and how these molecular characteristics relate to macroscopic performance of collagen-containing tissues. In this talk, several different projects within connective tissue biomechanics will be discussed, for which the common theme is collagen. Emphasis will be placed on the links between basic science understanding of collagen structure-function relationships and the clinical application of this understanding treatment of disease, design of repair strategies and even measures for prevention of disruption in collagenous tissues.

This talk is part of the Horizon: Bioengineering series.

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