Editorial Commentary: Allogenic Dermal Fibroblasts in Collagen Matrix Scaffold Enhance Rotator Cuff Repair in an Animal Model


      There has been a recent surge of interest on the use of biologic supplements to facilitate rotator cuff repair healing. Experimental evidence appears to support use of allogenic dermal fibroblasts (ADFs), either in the form of local injection or tenocytes embedded in collagen matrix scaffold, to enhance healing of a repaired rotator cuff tendon tear in an animal model. When compared with the ADFs, the platelet-rich plasma (PRP)-induced response seems to be limited in terms of the specific increases in local collagen 1 concentration, thus resulting in a bone-tendon healing response that is inferior in both biology and biomechanical behavior under the same laboratory conditions. While on the one hand, there is pilot data supporting use of dermal fibroblast in the clinical setting, thus reinforcing the animal study findings, on the other hand, we are also aware of the encouraging biologic changes that occurred in the retrieved acellular dermal matrix (ADM) allograft that was used for superior capsular reconstruction as a treatment of irreparable rotator cuff tears. In theory, ADFs locally instilled as an injection should further enhance the healing response compared to the ADM. However, this needs to be further studied to be able to be widely applicable clinically.
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