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Local delivery of controlled-release simvastatin to improve the biocompatibility of polyethylene terephthalate artificial ligaments for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament

Authors Zhang P, Han F, Li Y, Chen J, Chen T, Zhi Y, Jiang J, Lin C, Chen S, Zhao P

Received 24 August 2015

Accepted for publication 30 November 2015

Published 27 January 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 465—478


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Peng Zhang,1,* Fei Han,2,* Yunxia Li,1 Jiwu Chen,1 Tianwu Chen,1 Yunlong Zhi,1 Jia Jiang,1 Chao Lin,2 Shiyi Chen,1 Peng Zhao2

1Department of Sports Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, 2Shanghai East Hospital, The Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Nanoscience, School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: The Ligament Advanced Reinforcement System has recently been widely used as the primary graft of choice in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. But the biological graft–bone healing still remains a problem. Previous studies have shown that simvastatin (SIM) stimulates bone formation. The objective of this study was to investigate whether surface coating with collagen containing low-dose SIM microsphere could enhance the surface biocompatibility of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) artificial ligaments to accelerate graft-to-bone healing. The in vitro studies demonstrated that bone marrow stromal cells on the collagen-coated PET scaffolds (COL/PET) and simvastatin/collagen-coated PET scaffolds (SIM/COL/PET) proliferated vigorously. Compared with the PET group and the COL/PET group, SIM could induce bone marrow stromal cells’ osteoblastic differentiation, high alkaline phosphatase activity, more mineralization deposition, and more expression of osteoblast-related genes, such as osteocalcin, runt-related transcription factor 2, bone morphogenetic protein-2, and vascular endothelial growth factor, in the SIM/COL/PET group. In vivo, rabbits received ACL reconstruction with different scaffolds. Histological analysis demonstrated that graft–bone healing was significantly greater with angiogenesis and osteogenesis in the SIM/COL/PET group than the other groups. In addition, biomechanical testing at the eighth week demonstrated a significant increase in the ultimate failure load and stiffness in the SIM/COL/PET group. The low dose of SIM-sustained release from SIM/COL/PET promoted the graft–bone healing via its effect on both angiogenesis and osteogenesis. This study suggested that collagen containing low-dose SIM microsphere coating on the surface of PET artificial ligaments could be potentially applied for ACL reconstruction.

Keywords: simvastatin, controlled release, graft–bone healing, biocompatibility, ligament reconstruction

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