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By Trevor Justin Lujan


Healthy knee joints require structural stability through a full range of motion. Knee stability is primarily provided by a network of ligaments that resist abnormal forces and direct smooth articulations. Ligament malfunction has deleterious effects on balance, agility, and knee laxity. Altered knee laxity redistributes the stress transmitted across articulations, which may create regional stress concentrations that are potentially damaging to articular cartilage. The high incidence of knee ligament injuries and shortfalls of related treatments are thus adverse to knee joint health. As the function of ligament is essentially mechanical, understanding the tissue-scale and molecular-scale relationships that mechanically influence ligament are critical to functional restoration. The aim of this dissertation was to strengthen the scientific knowledge of mechanical relationships that impact ligament function in the knee. Toward this objective, a tissuescale relationship was investigated between the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL). These knee ligaments are frequently injured and have inter-dependent functionality. At the molecular-scale, mechanical interactions between glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and collagen fibrils may impact gross ligamen

Year: 2007
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