Development of a refined tenocyte expansion culture technique for tendon tissue engineering

Yiwei Qiu, Xiao Wang, Yaonan Zhang, Andrew J. Carr, Liwei Zhu, Zhidao Xia, Afsie Sabokbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to efficiently expand less differentiated tenocytes with minimum use of fetal bovine serum (FBS) for tenocyte-based tendon tissue engineering. To achieve this goal, human tenocytes were cultured in different concentrations of FBS and combinations of growth factors PDGFBB, IGF-1 and bFGF. A number of growth factors were selected that could support tenocyte expansion at reduced differentiated state with minimum FBS usage. Results showed that the expansion of the tenocytes cultured for 14days with 1% FBS, 50ng/ml PDGFBB and 50ng/ml bFGF was similar to that cultured in the 10% FBS control group. The tenocytes cultured in the treatment group showed significantly lower collagen synthesis and down-regulation of mRNA expression of tendon differentiation markers. Cell morphology confirmed that tenocytes cultured in the growth factors had reduced collagen fibril formation compared to tenocytes cultured in 10% FBS. Our findings confirm the feasibility of inducing human tenocyte expansion in vitro with the least amount of FBS usage, while controlling their differentiation until required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-962
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Differentiation
  • Expansion
  • Fetal bovine serum
  • Growth factors
  • Tenocyte
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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