A review on animal models and treatments for the reconstruction of Achilles and flexor tendons

Marta Bottagisio, Arianna B. Lovati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Tendon is a connective tissue mainly composed of collagen fibers with peculiar mechanical properties essential to functional movements. The increasing incidence of tendon traumatic injuries and ruptures—associated or not with the loss of tissue—falls on the growing interest in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The use of animal models is mandatory to deepen the knowledge of the tendon healing response to severe damages or acute transections. Thus, the selection of preclinical models is crucial to ensure a successful translation of effective and safe innovative treatments to the clinical practice. The current review is focused on animal models of tendon ruptures and lacerations or defective injuries with large tissue loss that require surgical approaches or grafting procedures. Data published between 2000 and 2016 were examined. The analyzed articles were compiled from Pub Med-NCBI using search terms, including animal model(s) AND tendon augmentation OR tendon substitute(s) OR tendon substitution OR tendon replacement OR tendon graft(s) OR tendon defect(s) OR tendon rupture(s). This article presents the existing preclinical models – considering their advantages and disadvantages—in which translational progresses have been made by using bioactive sutures or tissue engineering that combines biomaterials with cells and growth factors to efficiently treat transections or large defects of Achilles and flexor tendons. Graphical Abstract: [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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