Tendon rupture repair is a surgical field where improvements are still required due to problems such as repeat ruptures, adhesion formation and joint stiffness. In the current study, a reversibly expandable and contractible electrospun tube based on a biocompatible and biodegradable polymer was implanted around a transected and conventionally sutured rabbit Achilles tendon. The material used was DegraPol® (DP), a polyester urethane. To make DP softer, more elastic and surgeon-friendly, the synthesis protocol was slightly modified. Material properties of conventional and new DP film electrospun meshes are presented. At 12 weeks post-surgery, tenocyte and tenoblast density, nuclei and width, collagen fibre structure and inflammation levels were analyzed histomorphometrically. Additionally, a comprehensive histological scoring system by Stoll et al. (2011) was used to compare healing outcomes. Results showed that there were no adverse reactions of the tendon tissue following the implant. No differences were found whether the DP tube was applied or not for both traditional and new DP materials. As a result, the new DP material was shown to be an excellent carrier for delivery of growth factors, stem cells and other agents responsible for tendon healing.
Keywords: DegraPol synthesis; carrier; drug delivery system; tendon; tendon repair; tendon rupture.
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.