Optimization of surface modifications of extrasynovial tendon to improve its gliding ability in a canine model in vitro

Toshikazu Tanaka, Yu Long Sun, Chunfeng Zhao, Mark E. Zobitz, Kai Nan An, Peter C. Amadio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that the carboxyl groups in hyaluronic acid (HA) could be activated b 1-ethy 1-3-[3-dimethylaminopropyl] carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC)/N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) to form intermediate O-acylisoureas, which can chemically bind to exposed amino groups on the tendon surface, leading to improved gliding ability. However, the optimal ratio and concentrations of the components in this chemical mixture were not investigated. The purpose of this study was to optimize the constituents of this tissue engineering approach to tendon surface modification, to reduce friction and improve durability. Peroneus longus (PL) tendons (n = 40) were harvested from adult mongrel dogs along with the A2 pulley obtained from the ipsilateral hind paw. After the gliding resistance of the normal PL tendon was measured, the tendons were treated under varying concentrations of HA (0.5, 1, and 2%) and EDC/NHS (0.05, 0.25, and 1%) mixed with a 10% gelatin. Tendon friction was measured for 1000 cycles of simulated flexion/extension motion. Following testing, the residual HA on the tendon surface was evaluated by immunohistochemisty. The gliding resistance of the untreated PL tendons had a mean value of 0.087 ± 0.021 N. After surface treatment, there was no significant difference in friction due to HA concentration alone, but the concentration of EDC/NHS and the interaction between HA concentration and EDC/NHS concentration had a significant effect on friction. Regardless of HA concentration, the friction after 1000 cycles was significantly decreased in preparations which included a 1% concentration of EDC/NHS. The tendons with lower gliding resistance presented a smoother surface on light microscopy and maintained more residual HA on the tendon surface. By varying the relative concentrations of HA, EDC, and NHS it is possible to optimize the effect of surface treatment on friction and durability in a canine extrasynovial tendon in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1555-1561
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Chemical modification
  • Extrasynovial tendon
  • Flexor tendon
  • Friction
  • Hyaluronic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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