Atelocollagen Enhances the Healing of Rotator Cuff Tendon in Rabbit Model

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Failure of rotator cuff healing is a common complication despite the rapid development of surgical repair techniques for the torn rotator cuff.


To verify the effect of atelocollagen on tendon-to-bone healing in the rabbit supraspinatus tendon compared with conventional cuff repair.

Study Design:

Controlled laboratory study.


A tear of the supraspinatus tendon was created and repaired in 46 New Zealand White rabbits. They were then randomly allocated into 2 groups (23 rabbits per group; 15 for histological and 8 for biomechanical test). In the experimental group, patch-type atelocollagen was implanted between bone and tendon during repair; in the control group, the torn tendon was repaired without atelocollagen. Each opposite shoulder served as a sham (tendon was exposed only). Histological evaluation was performed at 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Biomechanical tensile strength was tested 12 weeks after surgery.


Histological evaluation scores of the experimental group (4.0 ± 1.0) were significantly superior to those of the control group (7.7 ± 2.7) at 12 weeks (P = .005). The load to failure was significantly higher in the experimental group (51.4 ± 3.9 N) than in the control group (36.4 ± 5.9 N) (P = .001).


Histological and biomechanical studies demonstrated better results in the experimental group using atelocollagen in a rabbit model of the supraspinatus tendon tear.

Clinical Relevance:

Atelocollagen patch could be used in the cuff repair site to enhance healing.

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