Tensile Strength of Tendons

The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of different factors on the strength of a tendon.  The factors that were tested were temperature and length.  Cow Achilles tendons were cut into thin strips of varying lengths and heated or cooled to different temperatures.  They were then placed in an apparatus that allowed weight to be hung from them.  The total mass that was required to cause the tendon to fail, or break, was then recorded.  In order to measure the results, a ratio comparing the mass that caused the tendon to break to the initial weight of the tendon was calculated.  This mass/weight ratio eliminated the potential bias that may have been caused by the varying weight of the tendons.  It was hypothesized that the longest tendons heated to the highest temperature would be the strongest; however, after performing the experiment, it was found that the shortest tendons cooled to the lowest temperature were strongest.  A 2-factor Design of Experiment was conducted in order to determine the statistical effects of each factor and also the interaction effect of the two factors.  Both temperature and length were found to be significant, and the interaction effect of temperature and length was also deemed significant.  This research is significant because it demonstrates some of the properties of tendons, which are used in the human body everyday.  The information found is also very helpful to athletes as it can aid in the prevention of tendon injuries.

Research Done By:

Daniel Arment
L'anse Creuse High School

Derek St. Louis
L'anse Creuse North High School