Author(s): Oxlund H, Manschot J, Viidik A
The elastin fibers of rat skin samples were degraded by the use of a purified preparation of elastase to which soybean inhibitor was added, preventing the collagenolytic activity of the elastase on collagen. Control experiments ascertained degradation of elastin and no effect on collagen. The mechanical properties of the skin samples were studied before and after the enzymatic treatment and differences ascribed to the degraded elastin fibers. Elastin plays a role in the mechanical behaviour of rat skin at small stress values and small deformations. Especially, the elastin fibers are responsible for the recoiling mechanism after a stress or deformation has been applied.