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Open AccessArticle

Thermosensitive Chitosan–Gelatin–Glycerol Phosphate Hydrogels as Collagenase Carrier for Tendon–Bone Healing in a Rabbit Model

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 100, Taiwan
2
Department of Orthopedics, Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 100, Taiwan
3
Department of Orthopedics, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 100, Taiwan
4
Department of Orthopedics, Taipei Medical University – Shuang Ho Hospital, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, School of Biomedical Engineering, College of Biomedical Engineering, Research Center of Biomedical Device, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 100, Taiwan
5
Institute of Biomedical Engineering & Nanomedicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli County 360, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020436 (registering DOI)
Received: 26 December 2019 / Revised: 27 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Application of Polymer-Based Composites)
Healing of an anterior cruciate ligament graft in bone tunnel yields weaker fibrous scar tissue, which may prolong an already prolonged healing process within the tendon–bone interface. In this study, gelatin molecules were added to thermosensitive chitosan/β-glycerol phosphate disodium salt hydrogels to form chitosan/gelatin/β-glycerol phosphate (C/G/GP) hydrogels, which were applied to 0.1 mg/mL collagenase carrier in the tendon–bone junction. New Zealand white rabbit’s long digital extensor tendon was detached and translated into a 2.5-mm diameter tibial plateau tunnel. Thirty-six rabbits underwent bilateral surgery and hydrogel injection treatment with and without collagenase. Histological analyses revealed early healing and more bone formation at the tendon–bone interface after collagenase partial digestion. The area of metachromasia significantly increased in both 4-week and 8-week groups after collagenase treatment (p < 0.01). Micro computed tomography showed a significant increase in total bone volume and bone volume/tissue volume in the 8 weeks after collagenase treatment, compared with the control group. Load-to-failure was significantly higher in the treated group at 8 weeks (23.8 ± 8.13 N vs 14.3 ± 3.9 N; p = 0.008). Treatment with collagenase digestion resulted in a 66% increase in pull-out strength. In conclusion, injection of C/G/GP hydrogel with collagenase improves tendon-to-bone healing in a rabbit model.
Keywords: hydrogel; tendon–bone healing; collagenase digestion; rabbit model hydrogel; tendon–bone healing; collagenase digestion; rabbit model
MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, Y.-M.; Lin, Y.-C.; Chen, C.-Y.; Hsieh, Y.-Y.; Liaw, C.-K.; Huang, S.-W.; Tsuang, Y.-H.; Chen, C.-H.; Lin, F.-H. Thermosensitive Chitosan–Gelatin–Glycerol Phosphate Hydrogels as Collagenase Carrier for Tendon–Bone Healing in a Rabbit Model. Polymers 2020, 12, 436.

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