Flexor tendon injuries are often encountered clinically and typically require surgical repair. Return of function after repair is limited due to adhesion formation, which leads to reduced tendon gliding, and due to a lack of repair site strength, which leads to repair site gap formation or rupture. The application of the growth factors basic fibroblastic growth factor (bFGF) and platelet derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB) has been shown to have the potential to enhance tendon healing. The objectives of this study were to examine: (1) the conditions over which delivery of bFGF can be controlled from a heparin-binding delivery system (HBDS) and (2) the effect of bFGF and PDGF-BB released from this system on tendon fibroblast proliferation and matrix gene expression in vitro over a 10-day interval. Delivery of bFGF was controlled using a HBDS. Fibrin matrices containing the HBDS retained bFGF better than did matrices lacking the delivery system over the 10-day period studied. Delivery of bFGF and PDGF-BB using the HBDS stimulated tendon fibroblast proliferation and promoted changes in the expression of matrix genes related to tendon gliding, strength, and remodeling. Both growth factors may be effective in enhancing tendon healing in vivo.
- Growth factor
- Tissue engineering