Stem Cell Therapy for Tendon Regeneration: Current Status and Future Directions

  • Sabine Conrad
  • Kathrin Weber
  • Ulrich Walliser
  • Florian Geburek
  • Thomas SkutellaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1084)


In adults the healing tendon generates fibrovascular scar tissue and recovers never histologically, mechanically, and functionally which leads to chronic and to degenerative diseases. In this review, the processes and mechanisms of tendon development and fetal regeneration in comparison to adult defect repair and degeneration are discussed in relation to regenerative therapeutic options. We focused on the application of stem cells, growth factors, transcription factors, and gene therapy in tendon injury therapies in order to intervene the scarring process and to induce functional regeneration of the lesioned tissue. Outlines for future therapeutic approaches for tendon injuries will be provided.


Tendon lesion Stem cells Growth factors Transcription factors Regenerative therapy 



Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell


Adipose-derived nucleated cell


Adipose stromal cell


Antisense oligonucleotide


Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell




Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell


Bone morphogenetic protein


Cytosolic phospholipase A2


Collagen type IV alpha 1


Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein




utilized clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats


Connective tissue growth factor




Extracellular matrix


Early growth response protein


Early growth response protein 1


Epidermal growth factor


Embryonic stem cell


Fc fragment of IgE receptor Ig


Fibroblast growth factor






Growth and differentiation factor


Growth factor


Green fluorescent protein


Growth hormone


Human adipose-derived stem cell




Intercellular adhesion molecule-1




Insulin-like growth factor




Induced pluripotent stem cell


Interleukin-1-receptor-antagonist protein processing system


Lysyl oxidase like 4


Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Mast cell protease




Matrix metalloproteinase




Magnetic resonance imaging


Murphy Roths Large (mouse)


Messenger RNA


Mesenchymal stem cell


Plasminogen activator inhibitor


Platelet-derived growth factor


Prostaglandin E2


Platelet-rich plasma


Runt-related transcription factor 2




Superficial digital flexor tendon


Smooth muscle actin


SRY-box gene


Tendon-derived cell


Transforming growth factor ß1


Transforming growth factor






Tumor necrosis factor-𝛼




Time of flight


Tendon precursor cell


Tendon stem cell


Tendon stem/progenitor cell


Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1


Vascular endothelial growth factor


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabine Conrad
    • 1
  • Kathrin Weber
    • 2
  • Ulrich Walliser
    • 2
  • Florian Geburek
    • 3
  • Thomas Skutella
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.TübingenGermany
  2. 2.Tierärztliches Zentrum für Pferde in Kirchheim Altano GmbHKirchheim unter TeckGermany
  3. 3.Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineClinic for Horses – Department of SurgeryGiessenGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Anatomy and Cell Biology, Medical FacultyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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