Author(s): Theiss F, Mirsaidi A, Mhanna R, Kmmerle J, Glanz S,
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Abstract Tenocytes represent a valuable source of cells for the purposes of tendon tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and as such, should possess a high degree of tenogenic differentiation prior to their use in vivo in order to achieve maximal efficacy. In the current report, we identify an efficient means by which to maintain differentiated tenocytes in vitro by employing the hanging drop technique in combination with defined growth media supplements. Equine tenocytes retained a more differentiated state when cultured as scaffold-free microtissue spheroids in low serum-containing medium supplemented with L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, insulin and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1. This was made evident by significant increases in the expression levels of pro-tenogenic markers collagen type I (COL1A2), collagen type III (COL3A1), scleraxis (SCX) and tenomodulin (TNMD), as well as by enhanced levels of collagen type I and tenomodulin protein. Furthermore, tenocytes cultured under these conditions demonstrated a typical spindle-like morphology and when embedded in collagen gels, became highly aligned with respect to the orientation of the collagen structure following their migration out from the microtissue spheroids. Our findings therefore provide evidence to support the use of a biomimetic microtissue approach to culturing tenocytes and that in combination with the defined growth media described, can improve their differentiation status and functional repopulation of collagen matrix. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies