Tough attachment between rotator cuff, bone achieved through unique fibrous architecture

Washington University in St. Louis

Engineers often use nature to inspire new materials and designs. A discovery by a multi-institutional team of researchers and engineers about how tendon and bone attach in the shoulder joint has uncovered previously unsuspected engineering strategies for attaching dissimilar materials. The discovery also sheds new light on how the rotator cuff functions and on why rotator cuff repairs fail so frequently.

Guy Genin, the Harold and Kathleen Faught Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, and Stavros Thomopoulos, the Robert E. Carroll and Jane Chace Carroll Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Columbia University, led a team that discovered a previously unknown fibrous architecture between the rotator cuff tendons and their bony attachments in the shoulder. Results of the work were published in Science Advances Nov. 26.

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