Stem Cells and Tendon Regeneration

  • Hamid Karimi
  • Kamal Seyed-Forootan
  • Ali-Mohammad Karimi


Tendon injury and rupture of tendons, specifically the Achilles tendon and rotator cuff injury, are frequent events. And the techniques of repairing tendons are constantly improving every day. One of the complications after repair is the risk of re-rupture that is reported in 28–32% of cases. The new method for treatment of tendon injury is cell therapy, which can use matured cells like tenocytes or progenitor cells such as stem cells. Tenocytes are difficult to culture and they may lose their phenotype after few passages. But stem cells, especially mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), have promising results. They can easily culture, proliferate, differentiate, and be grafted into the site of tendon injury and with the help of scaffolds and growth factors they can regenerate the tendon. The most frequent stem cells that have been used for this purpose are TDSC and BMSC. Most of the stem cells can be used either autologous or allogeneic, as they have low immunogenicity. These cells can secret special bioactive factors to help to proliferate and differentiate the stem cells and to have immune-regulatory function. Many studies have proven that stem cells can prevent inflammatory reactions and in turn prevent adhesions after healing of the tendon. The most frequent scaffolds that have been used included decellularized tendon, PLGA and (PCL + mGLT), and PLCGA. The stem cells can be delivered during surgery and suturing of the tendon, by percutaneous injection and by inducing and migrating endogenously. The growth factors that are used include hepatocyte growth factor, human platelet-derived growth factor-BB, intelukein-6, tumor growth factor beta (TGF-B), bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP), chemokine ligand-13 (CXCL-13), early growth response-1 (EGR-1), Mohawk (MKX), parathyroid hormone (PTH 1-34), inhibitors of TGF1, myostatin, TGF-B3, and VEGF. The repaired tendons have better strength and have low risk of re-rupture.


Stem cell Regeneration Tendon Injury Repairs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hamid Karimi
    • 1
  • Kamal Seyed-Forootan
    • 2
  • Ali-Mohammad Karimi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryHazrat Fatemeh Hospital, Iran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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