In this thesis the following subjects will be covered. In chapter 2 the current understanding of the structure and corresponding mechanical properties of collagen and its substructures will be reviewed. In chapter 3 the methodology to enable fixation and subsequent tensile testing of collagen fibrils is described. The mechanical behaviour of native collagen fibrils at ambient conditions and in aqueous media using the method described in chapter 3, is discussed in chapter 4. In chapter 5 the influence of cross-linking reagents, such as glutaraldehyde and a carbodiimide-based reagent, on the mechanical properties of collagen fibrils is evaluated. The obtained information on the structure and mechanical properties of collagen fibrils is further discussed in chapter 6, and an attempt is made to explain the differences in mechanical behaviour of non-treated and cross-linked fibrils at the molecular level. In chapter 7 the most important conclusions of this study are summarized and an outlook is given on new research projects based on the developed methodology.
|Award date||13 Oct 2004|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|