Weft-knitted silk-poly(lactide-co-glycolide) mesh scaffold combined with collagen matrix and seeded with mesenchymal stem cells for rabbit Achilles tendon repair

Connect Tissue Res. 2015 Feb;56(1):25-34. doi: 10.3109/03008207.2014.976309. Epub 2014 Nov 4.


Natural silk fibroin fiber scaffolds have excellent mechanical properties, but degrade slowly. In this study, we used poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA, 10:90) fibers to adjust the overall degradation rate of the scaffolds and filled them with collagen to reserve space for cell growth. Silk fibroin-PLGA (36:64) mesh scaffolds were prepared using weft-knitting, filled with type I collagen, and incubated with rabbit autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These scaffold-cells composites were implanted into rabbit Achilles tendon defects. At 16 weeks after implantation, morphological and histological observations showed formation of tendon-like tissues that expressed type I collagen mRNA and a uniformly dense distribution of collagen fibers. The maximum load of the regenerated Achilles tendon was 58.32% of normal Achilles tendon, which was significantly higher than control group without MSCs. These findings suggest that it is feasible to construct tissue engineered tendon using weft-knitted silk fibroin-PLGA fiber mesh/collagen matrix seeded with MSCs for rabbit Achilles tendon defect repair.

Keywords: Achilles tendon; bombyx mori silk; collagen; mesenchymal stem cells; poly(lactide-co-glycolide); weft-knitting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / drug effects
  • Achilles Tendon / pathology*
  • Achilles Tendon / surgery
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / drug effects
  • Bombyx
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / pharmacology*
  • Collagen Type I / genetics
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Collagen Type III / genetics
  • Collagen Type III / metabolism
  • Female
  • Lactic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / ultrastructure
  • Polyglycolic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Silk / pharmacology*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Biomarkers
  • Collagen Type I
  • Collagen Type III
  • Silk
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Collagen