Rotator cuff injuries are a common source of shoulder pathology and result in an important decrease in quality of patient life. Given the frequency of these injuries, as well as the relatively poor result of surgical intervention, it is not surprising that new and innovative strategies like tissue engineering have become more appealing. Tissue-engineering strategies involve the use of cells and/or bioactive factors to promote tendon regeneration via natural processes. The ability of numerous growth factors to affect tendon healing has been extensively analyzed in vitro and in animal models, showing promising results. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a whole blood fraction which contains several growth factors. Controlled clinical studies using different autologous PRP formulations have provided controversial results. However, favourable structural healing rates have been observed for surgical repair of small and medium rotator cuff tears. Cell-based approaches have also been suggested to enhance tendon healing. Bone marrow is a well known source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Recently, ex vivo human studies have isolated and cultured distinct populations of MSCs from rotator cuff tendons, long head of the biceps tendon, subacromial bursa, and glenohumeral synovia. Stem cells therapies represent a novel frontier in the management of rotator cuff disease that required further basic and clinical research.
Randelli, P., Randelli, F., Ragone, V., Menon, A., D’Ambrosi, R., Cucchi, D., … Banfi, G. (2014). Regenerative medicine in rotator cuff injuries. BioMed Research International. Hindawi Publishing Corporation. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/129515