Morphological characteristics of tendon cells cultured on synthetic fibers

J. L. Ricci, A. G. Gona, H. Alexander, J. R. Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Filamentous carbon is currently being used as an implant material for tendon and ligament repair in humans. This material acts as a scaffold for the organization of new fibrous tissue growth. Primary cultures of rat tendon fibroblast cells (1° RTF cells) were grown on carbon, Dacron, polyethylene and Nylon fibers in vitro. The morphological characteristics of these cells were examined. The process of cell migration from tendon explant to fiber substrate was similar for all four materials. Three morphological categories of cells were observed on these materials. (1) spherical dividing cells, (2) spindle‐shaped migrating cells, (3) sheath‐like migrating or stationary cells. The morphological characteristics and orientational behavior of cultured fibroblasts on these fiber materials were strongly influenced by the diameters of the fibers and by fiber surface characteristics such as longitudinal striations. The possible mechanisms of cell response to substrate geometric configuration are discussed along with the clinical significance of these experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1087
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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