March 15th, 2013 , J Orthop Res

Cell-based tissue engineering augments tendon-to-bone healing in a rat supraspinatus model

Rotator cuff pathology causes substantial Pain/disability and health care costs. Cell-based tissue engineering offers promise for improved outcomes in tendon to bone healing. Cells from the tendon-bone interface were used here to amplify surgical defect healing in a rat model. Cells from tendon-to-bone interface of the rotator cuff were seeded in sponges and implanted into critical rotator cuff defects: Group I, control; II, surgical defect only; III, suture-repaired defect; IV, surgical defect, repair with sponge only; V, surgical defect, repair with sponge with cells. Three, 6-, and 12-week results were assessed for histologic features. At 3 weeks, histologic indices in Group V were significantly increased versus other treatment groups. Group V (12 weeks) showed significantly improved collagen organization versus other treatment groups; there was no difference in collagen organization in Group I versus V. In summary, increased cellularity, inflammation, vascularity, and collagen organization were present at 3 weeks; increased collagen organization at 12 weeks in Group V provides evidence for improved healing with cells. Data further support the utility of tendon-bone interface cells in rotator cuff healing. © 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 31:407–412, 2013