Biologics for tendon repair

Denitsa Docheva, Sebastian A. Müller, Martin Majewski, Christopher H Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

196 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tendon injuries are common and present a clinical challenge to orthopedic surgery mainly because these injuries often respond poorly to treatment and require prolonged rehabilitation. Therapeutic options used to repair ruptured tendons have consisted of suture, autografts, allografts, and synthetic prostheses. To date, none of these alternatives has provided a successful long-term solution, and often the restored tendons do not recover their complete strength and functionality. Unfortunately, our understanding of tendon biology lags far behind that of other musculoskeletal tissues, thus impeding the development of new treatment options for tendon conditions. Hence, in this review, after introducing the clinical significance of tendon diseases and the present understanding of tendon biology, we describe and critically assess the current strategies for enhancing tendon repair by biological means. These consist mainly of applying growth factors, stem cells, natural biomaterials and genes, alone or in combination, to the site of tendon damage. A deeper understanding of how tendon tissue and cells operate, combined with practical applications of modern molecular and cellular tools could provide the long awaited breakthrough in designing effective tendon-specific therapeutics and overall improvement of tendon disease management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-239
Number of pages18
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Volume84
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Cell-based therapy
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Gene therapy
  • Growth factors
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Natural biomaterials
  • Tendon
  • Tendon repair
  • Tendon-derived cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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