Enhancement of acute tendon repair using chitosan matrix

Eitan Melamed, Bryan G. Beutel, Dror Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Structural failure of rotator cuff repairs has been attributed to multiple factors, including poor repair tissue quality and poor tendon-bone integration. Chitosan gel has been shown to facilitate scarless healing of soft tissues. In the study reported here, we hypothesized that use of a chitosan gel would improve the morphologic appearance of acute rotator cuff repair in a rat model after 12 weeks. Forty Wistar rats were used. In each case, bilateral tenotomy of the supraspinatus tendon was performed, followed by acute repair with sutures. The left shoulder served as a suture-only control, and the right shoulder was augmented with a chitosan gel applied between the ends of the tendon. Histologic analyses were performed to determine the functional and anatomical characteristics of the repair immediately after the operation and 3 days and 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 weeks after surgery. In the gel-augmented specimens, number of fibroblasts and amount of repair tissue were increased. Compared with the controls, these specimens showed minimal evidence of monocytic infiltration or inflammatory response around the matrix. Structural properties of the augmented shoulder, including pennation angles and fatty atrophy, were significantly improved. These study results showed that use of a chitosan matrix can enhance biological repair of rotator cuff tendons in a rat model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-216
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


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