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Effect of Tendon Stem Cells in Chitosan/β-Glycerophosphate/Collagen Hydrogel on Achilles Tendon Healing in a Rat Model

Zhijin Yang, Honghui Cao, Shang Gao, Mingyu Yang, Jingtong Lyu, Kanglai Tang

Department of Orthopedic Surgery/Sports Medicine Center, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:4633-4643

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.906747

Available online:

Published: 2017-09-27


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine whether the local application of tendon stem cells (TSCs) with chitosan/β-glycerophosphate/collagen(C/GP/Co) hydrogel promotes healing after an acute Achilles tendon injury in a rat model.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ninety-six Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were used to make an Achilles tendon defect model, then the animals were randomly divided into 4 groups consisting of 8 rats each: control group, hydrogel group, TSCs group, and TSCs with hydrogel group. At 2, 4, and 6 weeks after treatment, tendon samples were harvested, and the quality of tendon repair was evaluated based on histology, immunohistochemistry, and biomechanical properties.
RESULTS: Combining TSCs with C/GP/Co hydrogel significantly enhances tendon healing compared with the control, hydrogel, and TSCs groups. The improved healing was indicated by the improvement in histological and immunohistochemistry outcomes and the increase in the biomechanical properties of the regenerated tissue at both 4 and 6 weeks post-injury.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that the transplantation of TSCs combined with C/GP/Co hydrogel significantly improved the histological, immunohistochemistry, and biomechanical outcomes of the regenerated tissue at 4 and 6 weeks after implantation. TSCs with C/GP/Co hydrogel is a potentially effective treatment for tendon injury.

Keywords: Hydrogel, Stem Cell Transplantation, Tendon Injuries, Tissue Engineering



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