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Freeze-dried tendon implants prove effective in early studies
Date:1/8/2008

place. A limitation of the current study was that the mouse tendon allografts used were so small that the tendon had to be immobilized during the healing process to prevent tearing. Thus, the results showed that overall healing of the two groups GDF-treated and control proceeded at the same rate over the first 84 days after reconstruction. In larger animals and in humans, where allografts should be able to benefit from the force of motion as they heal, Awad expects that gene-therapy-loaded allografts will heal at a much faster rate than autografts or synthetic grafts. That theory has yet to be proven however.

Should this line of work prove successful, existing tissue banks could be refitted to create a nationwide supply of therapeutically enhanced tendons for transplant, according to the study authors. Millions of bone and cartilage grafts are already used in orthopaedics, as well as in plastic and general surgery. The banks are made possible by conscientious donors that indicate in their wills, or on their licenses, that their tissue is to be donated upon their death.

Along with Awad, study authors were Patrick Basile, M.D., Tulin Dadali, B.S., Justin Jacobson, M.D., Yasuhiko Nishio, Ph.D., M. Hicham Drissi, Ph.D., Howard Langstein, M.D., David Mitten, M.D., Regis J OKeefe, M.D., Ph.D., and Edward Schwarz, Ph.D. from the University of Rochester Medical Center as well as Sys Hasslund, Michael Ulrich-Vinther and Kjeld Sballe from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. The team will next seek to determine the mechanisms by which growth factors repair tendons. After that, studies will move into larger animals and humans, potentially within a few years.

Tendon is very durable, said Regis OKeefe, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and a study author. It could conceivably be freeze-dried, thawed and then freeze-dried again without damaging it. It could be l
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Contact: Greg Williams
Greg_Williams@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-1757
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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