Generation of a tendon-like tissue from human iPS cells

J Tissue Eng. 2022 Jan 21;13:20417314221074018. doi: 10.1177/20417314221074018. eCollection 2022 Jan-Dec.


Tendons and ligaments are essential connective tissues that connect the muscle and bone. Their recovery from injuries is known to be poor, highlighting the crucial need for an effective therapy. A few reports have described the development of artificial ligaments with sufficient strength from human cells. In this study, we successfully generated a tendon-like tissue (bio-tendon) using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We first differentiated human iPSCs into mesenchymal stem cells (iPSC-MSCs) and transfected them with Mohawk (Mkx) to obtain Mkx-iPSC-MSCs, which were applied to a newly designed chamber with a mechanical stretch incubation system. The embedded Mkx-iPSC-MSCs created bio-tendons and exhibited an aligned extracellular matrix structure. Transplantation of the bio-tendons into a mouse Achilles tendon rupture model showed host-derived cell infiltration with improved histological score and biomechanical properties. Taken together, the bio-tendon generated in this study has potential clinical applications for tendon/ligament-related injuries and diseases.

Keywords: Mohawk (Mkx); iPS cell; mechanical-stress; tendon; tissue engineering.