Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive and innovative technology for the management of specific tendinopathies. In order to elucidate the ESWT-mediated clinical benefits, human Tendon-derived Stem/Progenitor cells (hTSPCs) explanted from 5 healthy semitendinosus (ST) and 5 ruptured Achilles (AT) tendons were established. While hTSPCs from the two groups showed similar proliferation rates and stem cell surface marker profiles, we found that the clonogenic potential was maintained only in cells derived from healthy donors. Interestingly, ESWT significantly accelerated hTSPCs differentiation, suggesting that the clinical benefits of ESWT may be ascribed to increased efficiency of tendon repair after injury.
Keywords: ESWT; Pathology Section; differentiation; healing; stem cells; tendon.