Definition of elastase in English:



  • [mass noun] A pancreatic enzyme which digests elastin.

    • ‘In a related experiment, articular cartilage was incubated for two days with the enzyme elastase, which specifically digests the collagen fibers.’
    • ‘Big, long, expensive programs against enzymes like elastase and thrombin went on year after year, but no one could get the things to quite work well enough.’
    • ‘A variety of white blood cells called neutrophils contain elastase, an enzyme that can digest elastin.’
    • ‘Additional indentation tests were performed at the nanometer and micrometer scales on native articular cartilage to study the effects of the enzymes cathepsin D and elastase.’
    • ‘These implicate the proteolytic enzyme elastase and cell surface adhesion molecules, and provide a basis for the investigation of potential novel therapies.’


1940s: from elastic + -ase.