For both tendon allografts and autografts, the surface, initially optimized for gliding, may not be ideal to facilitate tissue integration for graft healing to host tendon or bone. As a prelude to studying tendon-bone integration, we investigated the effect of surface treatments with trypsin or mechanical abrasion on cell attachment to the tendon surface in a canine ex vivo intrasynovial tendon tissue culture model. Intrasynovial tendon allograft surfaces were seeded with cells after the following treatments: (1) no treatment, (2) mechanical abrasion, (3) trypsin, and (4) abrasion and trypsin. The area covered by cells was determined using confocal laser microscopy at one and two weeks. Results were compared to untreated extrasynovial tendon. Additional tendons were characterized with scanning electron microscopy. Tendons with trypsin treatment had significantly more surface coverage with cells than the other groups, after both one and two weeks of culture. In terms of the cellular shape and size, cells on tendons with trypsin treatment spread more and were more polygonal in shape, whereas tendons with mechanical abrasion with/without trypsin treatment contained smaller, more spindle-like cells. Surface roughening can affect cell behavior with topographical stimulation. Trypsin surface digestion exposes a mesh-like structure on the tendon surface, which could enhance cell adherence and, possibly, tendon/bone healing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering