Journal of Undergraduate Research


ligament microstructure, fiber contrast of tendons, 3D gross anatomical structure


Life Sciences


Physiology and Developmental Biology


Due to the relatively poor fiber contrast of tendons in comparison with muscles, the anatomical, and therefore, functional relationship of muscle attachments to bones via tendons has not been well mapped. We were interested in mapping the 3D gross anatomical structure of tendons using a MicroScribe 3D digitizer (GoMeasure3D, Amherst, VA), with the goal to compare fibrous architecture between tendons of various types of muscles and muscle classes. We developed a stain made of blue dye and powdered sugar to increase fiber visibility, thus allowing for 3D digitization. This technique was applied to human cadaveric calcaneal tendon and quadriceps tendon.