A clinical, biological, and biomaterials perspective into tendon injuries and regeneration

Grace Walden, Xin Liao, Simon Donell, Mike J Raxworthy, Graham Riley, Aram Saeed

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Tendon injury is common and debilitating, and it is associated with long-term pain and ineffective healing. It is estimated to afflict 25% of the adult population and is often a career-ending disease in athletes and racehorses. Tendon injury is associated with high morbidity, pain, and long-term suffering for the patient. Due to the low cellularity and vascularity of tendon tissue, once damage has occurred, the repair process is slow and inefficient, resulting in mechanically, structurally, and functionally inferior tissue. Current treatment options focus on pain management, often being palliative and temporary and ending in reduced function. Most treatments available do not address the underlying cause of the disease and, as such, are often ineffective with variable results. The need for an advanced therapeutic that addresses the underlying pathology is evident. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is an emerging field that is aimed at stimulating the body's own repair system to produce de novo tissue through the use of factors such as cells, proteins, and genes that are delivered by a biomaterial scaffold. Successful tissue engineering strategies for tendon regeneration should be built on a foundation of understanding of the molecular and cellular composition of healthy compared with damaged tendon, and the inherent differences seen in the tissue after disease. This article presents a comprehensive clinical, biological, and biomaterials insight into tendon tissue engineering and regeneration toward more advanced therapeutics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-58
Number of pages15
JournalTissue Engineering Part B: Reviews
Issue number1
Early online date30 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • tendon injury
  • tissue engineering
  • tendinopathy
  • tendon rupture
  • injectable scaffold
  • implant

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