Development of a reconstituted collagen tendon prosthesis. A preliminary implantation study

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1989 Sep;71(8):1183-91.


A reconstituted collagen tendon prosthesis was developed and implanted in rabbit Achilles tendons. The prosthesis was prepared by extruding type-I collagen into fibers and crosslinking it either with glutaraldehyde or with dehydrothermal treatment followed by exposure to carbodiimide. A tendon prosthesis was assembled by coating a longitudinal array of the fibers with uncrosslinked collagen. In one leg of the rabbit, the Achilles tendon was replaced with the synthetic tendon; in the contralateral leg of the animal, the tendon was excised, devascularized, and anastomosed as an autogenous graft. The autogenous tendon grafts were seen to be infiltrated centrally by fibroblasts and capillaries ten weeks postoperatively and to have been partially replaced by repair tissue twenty weeks postoperatively. Three weeks after implantation, all collagen implants were noted to have been infiltrated with fibrous tissue. At ten weeks, reorganization of collagenous tissue was observed in and around the prostheses, and the carbodiimide-crosslinked implants had been resorbed and replaced by normal-appearing neotendon. The implants that had been treated with glutaraldehyde were resorbed more slowly and were surrounded by more inflammatory cells, compared with the prostheses that had been treated with carbodiimide. Neotendon in the glutaraldehyde-treated prostheses matured more slowly. When the implants were examined at intervals after the operation, their mechanical properties approached those of fresh tendon. The initial strength of the carbodiimide-treated implants was lower than that of the fresh autogenous grafts. Twenty weeks after implantation, the strength and modulus of the carbodiimide-treated implants approached those of fresh tendon.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Collagen*
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Glutaral
  • Hindlimb
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Rabbits
  • Tendons* / pathology
  • Tendons* / surgery


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Collagen
  • Glutaral