Effects of nanoparticle-mediated growth factor gene transfer to the injured microenvironment on the tendon-to-bone healing strength†
The tendon-to-bone healing after trauma is usually slow and weak, and the repair site is easily disrupted during early mobilization exercise. bFGF and VEGFA gene therapy may hold promise in augmenting the tendon-to-bone healing process through enhancing cell proliferation and angiogenesis. This study is conducted to determine the effects of nanoparticle-mediated co-delivery of bFGF and VEGFA genes to the tendon-to-bone repair interface on the healing strength and biological responses in a chicken model. The PLGA nanoparticle/pEGFP-bFGF + pEGFP-VEGFA plasmid complexes were prepared and were characterized in vitro and in vivo. The nanoparticle/plasmid complexes can effectively transfer bFGF and VEGFA genes to the tendon-to-bone interface. Nanoparticle-mediated co-delivery of bFGF and VEGFA genes significantly improved the tendon-to-bone healing in terms of healing strengths and histology in a chicken flexor tendon repair model. Our results suggest a new biological approach to accelerate the tendon-to-bone healing.