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    Replicating the controlled nanofibrillar architecture of collagenous tissue represents a promising approach in the design of tendon replacements that have tissue-mimicking biomechanics─outstanding mechanical strength and toughness, defect tolerance, and fatigue and fracture resistance. Guided by this principle, a fibrous artificial tendon (FAT) was constructed in the present study using an engineering strategy inspired by the fibrillation of a naturally spun silk protein. This bioinspired FAT featured a highly ordered molecular and nanofibrillar architecture similar to that of soft collagenous tissue, which exhibited the mechanical and fracture characteristics of tendons. Such similarities provided the motivation to investigate FAT for applications in Achilles tendon defect repair. In vitro cellular morphology and expression of tendon-related genes in cell culture and in vivo modeling of tendon injury clearly revealed that the highly oriented nanofibrils in the FAT substantially promoted the expression of tendon-related genes combined with the Achilles tendon structure and function. These results provide confidence about the potential clinical applications of the FAT.


    Zhirui Dong, Ruoxuan Peng, Yuehua Zhang, Yicheng Shan, Wang Ding, Yifan Liu, Jian Li, Mingdong Zhao, Li-Bo Jiang, Shengjie Ling. Tendon Repair and Regeneration Using Bioinspired Fibrillation Engineering That Mimicked the Structure and Mechanics of Natural Tissue. ACS nano. 2023 Sep 26;17(18):17858-17872

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    PMID: 37656882

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