View Full Version : thermodynamics of tendons

Rob Herbert
10-10-1995, 06:54 AM
Ante Radocaj wrote:

> How much is known about the thermodynamics of
> tendons. Does the tendon behave like rubber or like steel, i.e. does
> it cool down or heat up while being stretched? Are there any review
> articles or other interesting publications?

There is an extensive older literature on the thermodynamics of biological
tissues. A useful reference is Hill AV (1952)"A discussion on the
thermodynamics of elasticity in biological tissues" Proceedings of the Royal
Society (Series B) v139, 464. This paper is the proceedings of a discussion
between A.V. Hill and other eminent physiologists of the time on just the
questions you are asking about (and many more as well!). They describe how
tendon displays "normal" thermoelastic behaviour - that is, it lengthens
when warmed (or cools when lengthened). In contrast, muscle fibres held near
their rest length show "rubber-like" elasticity (they shorten when warmed
and warm when lengthened). This paper cites many ancient references which
may be worth chasing up.

Some more modern references are:

Maes et al (1989) J Biomechanics 22, 1203-1208, and
Hooley et al (1980) J Biomechanics 13, 521-528.

I hope these are of some use!

Rob Herbert
School of Physiotherapy
University of Sydney
PO Box 170, Lidcombe 2141,
fax: (612) 6466601
phone: (612) 6466380