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BACKGROUND: Rotator cuff tendon repair in humans is a commonly performed procedure aimed at restoring the tendon-bone interface. Despite significant innovation of surgical techniques and suture anchor implants, only 60% of repairs heal successfully. One strategy to enhance repair is the use of bioactive sutures that provide the native tendon with biophysical cues for healing. We investigated the tissue response to a multifilament electrospun polydioxanone (PDO) suture in a sheep tendon injury model characterised by a natural history of failure of healing. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: Eight skeletally mature English Mule sheep underwent repair with electrospun sutures. Monofilament sutures were used as a control. Three months after surgery, all tendon repairs healed, without systemic features of inflammation, signs of tumour or infection at necropsy. A mild local inflammatory reaction was seen. On histology the electrospun sutures were densely infiltrated with predominantly tendon fibroblast-like cells. In comparison, no cellular infiltration was observed in the control suture. Neovascularisation was observed within the electrospun suture, whilst none was seen in the control. Foreign body giant cells were rarely seen with either sutures. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that a tissue response can be induced in tendon with a multifilament electrospun suture with no safety concerns.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Female, Humans, Polydioxanone, Postoperative Complications, Rotator Cuff, Rotator Cuff Injuries, Sheep, Suture Techniques, Sutures, Tensile Strength