Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department


Committee Member

Dr. Delphine Dean, PhD, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. John Desjardins, PhD

Committee Member

Dr. Jeffrey Willey, PhD


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and radiation therapy is used as a treatment method on millions of patients each year. While the biological response of tendon tissue to high-dose radiation has been investigated over the years, the effects of low-dose gamma radiation on tendons is not well understood. The goal of this research is to investigate the impact of clinically relevant low dose gamma radiation on tendon tissue. Fresh tendons were harvested from mature porcine forefeet and exposed to 5 Gray of Cesium gamma radiation. Histological and chemical data was obtained over the course of five days following irradiation. In the first phase of the study, histological aspects of the tendon were examined. Masson's Trichrome revealed an increased expression of collagen while H&E and Safranin-O found an increased occurrence of apoptosis which was confirmed by DNA fragment end-labeling. The second phase of the study investigated the sGAG content of the tissue and culture media over time following irradiation exposure. Significant differences were seen between the control and irradiated groups in the sGAG content within the tissue (on days 3 and 5) and in the culture media (on day 5).



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