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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2014 Mar;102(3):801-7. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.34742. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

A new TGF-β3 controlled-released chitosan scaffold for tissue engineering synovial sheath.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics, Daping Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400042, People's Republic of China.


The post-operative outcome of flexor tendon healing remains limited by flexor tendon adhesion that reduces joint range of motion. Despite improvement in different methods, peritendinous adhesion formation continues to present a formidable challenge. Recent studies showed that transforming growth factor-β3 (TGF-β3) may be the key factor to reducing adhesion formation in skin or tendon. In this study, we designed a novel type of tissue engineering synovial sheath containing TGF-β3, to prevent flexor tendon adhesion. First, to achieve a stable release of TGF-β3, chitosan microspheres, prepared by crosslinking-emulsion, were used for the delivery of TGF-β3. Second, a three-dimensional chitosan scaffold was prepared by lyophilization, and TGF-β3 microspheres were carefully introduced into the scaffold. Then, synovial cells were cultured and then seeded into the TGF-β3 loaded scaffold to produce TGF-β3 controlled-released tissue engineering synovial sheath. Tests clearly demonstrated that the scaffold has good structure and compatibility with cells. These results expand the feasibility of combinative strategies of controlled protein release and tissue-engineered synovial sheath formation. Application of this scaffold to tendon repair sites may help to prevent adhesion of tendon healing.


TGF-β3; chitosan scaffold; engineering synovial sheath; tendon adhesion

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