Tendons mainly function as load-bearing tissues in the muscloskeletal system; transmitting loads from muscle to bone. Tendons are dynamic structures that respond to the magnitude, direction, frequency, and duration of physiologic as well as pathologic mechanical loads via complex interactions between cellular pathways and the highly specialized extracellular matrix. This paper reviews the evolution and current knowledge of mechanobiology in tendon development, homeostasis, disease, and repair. In addition, we review several novel mechanotransduction pathways that have been identified recently in other tissues and cell types, providing potential research opportunities in the field of tendon mechanobiology. We also highlight current methods, models, and technologies being used in a wide variety of mechanobiology research that could be investigated in the context of their potential applicability for answering some of the fundamental unanswered questions in this field. The article concludes with a review of the major questions and future goals discussed during the recent ORS/ISMMS New Frontiers in Tendon Research Conference held on September 10 and 11, 2014 in New York City.
- tendon cell