New Therapeutic Target and Strategy to Enhance Tendon Mechanical Properties


The tendon is a highly collagenous connective tissue that transmits forces from muscle to bone to enable movement. Tendons are also prone to injury. Unfortunately, tendons have an exceptionally slow natural healing process and typically exhibit abnormal and inferior mechanical properties once healed. In addition, tendons are commonly associated with heritable connective tissue disorders and birth abnormalities. There are currently no effective treatment strategies to restore native mechanical properties to tendons in any of these scenarios. Thus, there is a critical need for new therapeutics to promote tendon mechanical properties.

Technology Overview

UR researchers have identified a method to enhance tendon mechanical properties by promoting lysyl oxidase (LOX)-mediated collagen crosslinking, a naturally occurring mechanism in tendon development. LOX is a critical regulator of tendon mechanical properties and does so by inducing and regulating collagen crosslinking levels. By treating embryonic tendons with recombinant LOX at different developmental stages, researchers have demonstrated that the treatment significantly enhanced tensile and nanoscale tendon mechanical properties in a controlled manner without affecting cell viability or collagen content, density, and maturity. The LOX-based therapeutic represents exciting potential for enhancing tendon mechanical properties via a naturally occurring crosslinking mechanism.


The LOX-based therapeutic is based on a naturally occurring mechanism to induce additional collagen crosslinking and thereby enhance tendon mechanical properties. In addition, the method has been demonstrated in chick embryo models to be safe without affecting cell viability. The therapeutic can be implemented to 1) restore normal mechanical properties and function or injured or diseased tendons, and 2) enhance mechanical properties of abnormally weak tendons during treatment of connective tissue disorders and musculoskeletal abnormalities.


  • Tendon injuries
  • Inherent connective tissue disorders
URV Reference Number: 2-19021
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
McKenna Geiger
Licensing Manager
University of Rochester
Catherine Kuo