About our research

The tendon and ligament research group investigates the structure and function of these tissues with a particular focus on age-related deterioration and disease.

 The Achilles tendon in man and the superficial digital flexor tendon in the horse are extensible energy-storing tendons that are susceptible to age-related degeneration and non-contact injury. The risk of certain tendon injuries increases with age, with lower limb tendons such as the Achilles being more commonly injured in middle age, and upper limb tendons such as the rotator cuff undergoing pronounced deterioration in older age. Tendon injury is the most common reason for retirement in racing Thoroughbreds and age is a risk factor for tendon injury in the horse. Damaged tendons heal by producing an inferior quality scar-like tissue that leads to reduced strength and increased likelihood of re-rupture. The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most frequently injured structures of the knee joint. It is one of the main stabilisers of the knee as it prevents forward movement of the tibia with respect to the femur and internal twisting of the joint. Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in man and animals such as the dogs are strongly associated with the development of osteoarthritis.

 Our research encompasses studies on the structure and biomechanics of tendons and ligaments, characterisation of stem/progenitor cells from these tissues and application of transcriptomic and proteomic technologies to understand ageing and disease.

The research group is primarily located in the William Henry Duncan Building on the University of Liverpool main campus. Research is also carried out at the Leahurst veterinary campus and in collaboration with the Human Anatomy Research Centre.