Flexor tendon injuries in the hands are relatively common, significantly disabling more than 100,000 people in the United States per year (Nichols 2019). The majority of flexor tendon injuries require surgical repair, but despite the advancement of technology and medicine, current treatments still yield poor outcomes. Even with prevailing treatments to improve or restore function to the affected digit(s), patients often suffer psychologically and financially in the long-term. A recent study gave a conservative estimate that flexor tendon lacerations cost the American healthcare system and taxpayers between US $240.8-409.1 million per year and emphasized the need to “focus our efforts to improve treatments and rehabilitation protocols” to decrease these direct and indirect costs (Mehrzad 2019). Partially attributed to advancements in technology that have enabled increased study and understanding of cellular and molecular biology, attention has shifted from surgical techniques to focus on investigating the fibrotic healing mechanisms of tendons with the hopes of uncovering the switches that influence scar formation versus regenerative healing. However, progress has been somewhat limited due to the ability to only assess end-point outcomes of healing.

To address these limitations collaborators, Dr. Alayna Loiselle and Dr. Michael Richards have developed a murine (mouse) model to simultaneously study the fibrotic healing response in tendons and validate ultrasound algorithms to accurately quantify several physical and mechanical characteristics of healing tendons. The purpose of this project was to demonstrate to students and researchers in related fields the experimental setup of the mouse model and the application of ultrasound imaging techniques as a relatively accessible and inexpensive noninvasive method to reliably assess tendon healing in the form of a short 3D animation. A few future inquiries that expand upon the current murine flexor tendon repair model are also introduced.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Flexor tendons--Wounds and injuries--Rehabilitation; Ultrasonic imaging; Mice as laboratory animals; Computer animation

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Medical Illustration(MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

Medical Illustration (CHST)


James Perkins

Advisor/Committee Member

Craig Foster

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Richards


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes