eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2021   Volume No 43 – pages 228-251

Title: Histology of tendon and enthesis – suitable techniques for specific research questions

Authors: N Angrisani, E Willbold, A Kampmann, A Derksen, J Reifenrath

Address: Hannover Medical School, Clinic for Orthopaedic Surgery, Stadtfelddamm 34, 30625 Hannover, Germany

E-mail: Angrisani.nina at

Abstract: The musculoskeletal system consists of different components comprising a wide range of tissue types, with tendons being one part. Tendon degeneration or rupture have a high prevalence in all age groups, often with poor outcomes of surgical treatment such as chronic pain and high re-tear rates. Therefore, much effort has been directed to further develop diagnostic and therapeutic methods as well as reconstruction techniques, including using adequate placeholders or implants. Diagnostic approaches and advanced stages of preclinical studies will inevitably include histological examination of the pathologically affected tissue. The present study presents adequate tendon-related, histological techniques, including the embedding of soft- and hard-tissue samples in different media. Consideration is also given to samples containing residual implant materials or having been subjected to standard staining protocols and immunohistochemical procedures. The study further examines cells and tendon structure to detect degenerative, fibrotic or inflammatory conditions and possible foreign-body responses to implanted materials. Infraspinatus tendons from preclinical studies carried on rat and sheep samples, as well as human biceps tendon samples, have been used as example materials.

Keywords: Tendinopathies, hard tissue sectioning, histological evaluation, staining techniques.

Publication date: May 24th 2022

Article download: Pages 228-251 (PDF file)

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