Dose- and time-dependent effects of genipin crosslinking on cell viability and tissue mechanics - toward clinical application for tendon repair

Acta Biomater. 2014 May;10(5):1897-906. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.12.048. Epub 2013 Dec 31.


The crosslinking agent genipin is increasingly invoked for the mechanical augmentation of collagen tissues and implants, and has previously been demonstrated to arrest mechanical damage accumulation in various tissues. This study established an in vitro dose-response baseline for the effects of genipin treatment on tendon cells and their matrix, with a view to in vivo application to the repair of partial tendon tears. Regression models based on a broad range of experimental data were used to delineate the range of concentrations that are likely to achieve functionally effective crosslinking, and predict the corresponding degree of cell loss and diminished metabolic activity that can be expected. On these data, it was concluded that rapid mechanical augmentation of tissue properties can only be achieved by accepting some degree of cytotoxicity, yet that post-treatment cell survival may be adequate to eventually repopulate and stabilize the tissue. On this basis, development of delivery strategies and subsequent in vivo study seems warranted.

Keywords: Collagen; Cytotoxicity; Tendon injury; Tendon tear; Tenocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / pharmacology*
  • Elastic Modulus / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Horses
  • Iridoids / pharmacology*
  • Iridoids / toxicity
  • Mechanical Phenomena / drug effects
  • Protein Denaturation / drug effects
  • Reference Standards
  • Regression Analysis
  • Tendons / drug effects
  • Tendons / pathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Iridoids
  • genipin