The role of MicroRNAs in tendon injury, repair, and related tissue engineering

Qian Liu, Yaxi Zhu, Weihong Zhu, Ge Zhang, Yunzhi Peter Yang, Chunfeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Tendon injuries are one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders that cause considerable morbidity and significantly compromise the patients’ quality of life. The innate limited regenerative capacity of tendon poses a substantial treating challenge for clinicians. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small non-coding RNAs that play a vital role in orchestrating many biological processes through post-transcriptional regulation. Increasing evidence reveals that miRNA-based therapeutics may serve as an innovative strategy for the treatment of tendon pathologies. In this review, we briefly present miRNA biogenesis, the role of miRNAs in tendon cell biology and their involvement in tendon injuries, followed by a summary of current miRNA-based approaches in tendon tissue engineering with a special focus on attenuating post-injury fibrosis. Next, we discuss the advantages of miRNA-functionalized scaffolds in achieving sustained and localized miRNA administration to minimize off-target effects, and thus hoping to inspire the development of effective miRNA delivery platforms specifically for tendon tissue engineering. We envision that advancement in miRNA-based therapeutics will herald a new era of tendon tissue engineering and pave a way for clinical translation for the treatments of tendon disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121083
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Antiadhesion
  • Biomaterials
  • MicroRNAs (miRNAs)
  • Tendon healing
  • Tendon injuries
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials


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