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Recurrent tears after surgical tendon repair remain common. Repair failures can be partly attributed to the use of sutures not designed for the tendon cellular niche nor for the promotion of repair processes. Synthetic electrospun materials can mechanically support the tendon whilst providing topographical cues that regulate cell behaviour. Here, a novel electrospun suture made from twisted polydioxanone (PDO) polymer filaments is compared to PDS II, a clinically-used PDO suture currently utilised in tendon repair. We evaluated the ability of these sutures to support the attachment and proliferation of human tendon-derived stromal cells using PrestoBlue and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Suture surface chemistry was analysed using X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. Bulk RNA-Seq interrogated the transcriptional response of primary tendon-derived stromal cells to sutures after 14 days. Electrospun suture showed increased initial cell attachment and a stronger transcriptional response compared to PDS II, with relative enrichment of pathways including mTorc1 signalling and depletion of epithelial mesenchymal transition. Neither suture induced transcriptional upregulation of inflammatory pathways compared to baseline. Twisted electrospun sutures therefore show promise in improving outcomes in surgical tendon repair by allowing increased cell attachment whilst maintaining an appropriate tissue response.

Original publication




Journal article


Transl sports med

Publication Date





409 - 418


Electrospinning, Electrospun suture, PDS II, Polydioxanone, Tendon repair, Tissue engineering