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Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

Supraspinatus Tendon Healing with an FGF-Loaded Bilayer Delivery System in a Rat Model

      Rotator cuff tears are a common clinical problem that cause pain and can limit shoulder function. Moreover, poor healing results in a significant number of re-tears after surgical repair. In previous studies, to improve upon this, we developed biodegradable microspheres (MS) containing Alexa-tagged BSA and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and incorporated these delivery agents into a Bilayer Delivery System (BiLDS). This system provides a template for new tissue formation while enabling independent and local release from MS that are entrapped between the scaffold layers. This BiLDS technology thus provides sustained and localized in vivo growth factor delivery to the surgical site. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the sustained release of bFGF from BiLDS implanted at the repair site in a rat supraspinatus injury and repair model. We hypothesized that the controlled release of bFGF from the BiLDS would improve tendon healing by decreasing the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improving tendon mechanics.
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