Strategies to engineer tendon/ligament-to-bone interface: Biomaterials, cells and growth factors

Sonia Font Tellado*, Elizabeth R Balmayor, Martijn Van Griensven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Integration between tendon/ligament and bone occurs through a specialized tissue interface called enthesis. The complex and heterogeneous structure of the enthesis is essential to ensure smooth mechanical stress transfer between bone and soft tissues. Following injury, the interface is not regenerated, resulting in high rupture recurrence rates. Tissue engineering is a promising strategy for the regeneration of a functional enthesis. However, the complex structural and cellular composition of the native interface makes enthesis tissue engineering particularly challenging. Thus, it is likely that a combination of biomaterials and cells stimulated with appropriate biochemical and mechanical cues will be needed. The objective of this review is to describe the current state-of-the-art, challenges and future directions in the field of enthesis tissue engineering focusing on four key parameters: (1) scaffold and biomaterials, (2) cells, (3) growth factors and (4) mechanical stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-40
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biocompatible Materials/chemistry
  • Bone and Bones/metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems/methods
  • Extracellular Matrix/metabolism
  • Fibrocartilage/metabolism
  • Genetic Therapy/methods
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism
  • Ligaments/metabolism
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Surface Properties
  • Tendons/metabolism
  • Tissue Engineering/methods

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