Controlled vitamin D delivery with injectable hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel for restoration of tendinopathy

J Tissue Eng. 2022 Sep 2;13:20417314221122089. doi: 10.1177/20417314221122089. eCollection 2022 Jan-Dec.


Tendinopathy is a term used to describe tendon disorders that are marked by pain and a loss of function. Recent studies demonstrated that inflammation plays an important role throughout the broad spectrum of tendinopathy. Conventional treatments such as steroid injections, analgesics, and physical modalities simply give pain relief and do not alter the disease progression without the tendon regeneration effect. Tenocytes are responsible for maintaining the tendon matrix and understanding how they function is essential to studying new treatments for tendinopathy. Our previous study showed the protective effects of vitamin D (Vit D) on damaged tenocytes. Besides its well-known effects on bone metabolism, the non-classical action of Vit D is the pleiotropic effects on modulating immune function. In the present study, we developed a Vit D delivery system with hyaluronic acid (HA), which is one of the major components of the extracellular matrix that has anti-inflammation and wound-healing properties. A novel Vit D delivery system with cross-linked HA hydrogel (Gel) and Tween 80 (T80), Vit D@Gel/T80, could be a new regeneration technique for the treatment of tendinopathy. Vit D@Gel/T80 reduced TNF-α induced damage to human tenocytes in vitro. In an animal study, the Vit D@Gel/T80 injected group demonstrated tendon restoration features. As a result, this Vit D@Gel/T80 system might be a local injection material in the treatment for tendinopathy.

Keywords: HA hydrogel; Tendinopathy; Tween 80; tendon regeneration; vitamin D.