Polymer-Assisted Cartilage and Tendon Repair

  • Gundula Schulze-TanzilEmail author
Part of the Mechanical Engineering Series book series (MES)


Intrinsic repair of traumatic cartilage injuries is generally poor; in a similar manner, the repair of ruptured tendons can be associated with unwanted results such as scar formation and altered biomechanical tissue properties. Therefore, further research utilizing tissue engineering (TE) techniques should help to reduce healing times and to restore natural structure of cartilage and tendon in response to injury. Natural and synthetic polymers play a pivotal role as artificial matrices for cartilage and tendon tissue engineering. Some TE-based therapeutical approaches have already found entry in the clinical praxis. This chapter discusses which peculiarities of cartilage and tendon have to be addressed for the use of synthetic polymers for TE, which kinds of polymers have been tested so far, and which unmet medical needs remain for cartilage and tendon TE. The important issue of reestablishing the tendon-to-bone interface for stable polymer-based TE tendon reconstruction strategies will also be discussed. Future directions for TE-assisted cartilage and tendon reconstruction are to develop biomimetic polymer scaffolds, to fully restore tissue zonality and achieve implant integration, mechanocompetence, and last but not least, to establish one step strategies for clinical application. Additionally, polymers could be used to help achieve more rapid expansion of chondrocyte and tenocyte numbers in culture, and for preculturing procedures.


Cartilage repair Tendon repair Biomimetic polymers Tenogenesis Chondrogenesis 

Abbreviation List






Bone morphogenetic protein


Cartilage oligomeric protein


Chondroitin sulfate


Extracellular matrix


Food and drug administration


Fibroblast growth factor






High-density culture


Insulin-like growth factor


Induced pluripotent stem cells


Mesenchymal stem cells




Platelet-derived growth factor






Polyethylene terephthalate


Polyglycolic acid


Polylactic acid




Poly(tetrafluoro ethylene)






Arginin, glycin und asparaginsäure


Stromal cell-derived factor


Tissue engineering


Transforming growth factor



The author is grateful to the support of Mr. Benjamin Kohl and Dr. Christiane Stoll.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic, Trauma and Reconstructive SurgeryCharité-University of Medicine Campus Benjamin FranklinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institute of AnatomyParacelsus Medical SchoolSalzburgAustria

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