A novel biofabrication modality, electrophoretic compaction with macromolecular alignment, is utilized to make collagen threads that mimic the native tendon's structure and mechanical properties. A device with kinematic electrodes is designed to fabricate collagen threads in continuous length. For the first time, a 3D-biotextile is woven purely from collagen. Mechanical properties and load-displacement behavior of the biotextile mimic those of the native tendon while presenting a porosity of 80%. The open pore network facilitates cell seeding across the continuum of the bioscaffold. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seeded in the woven scaffold undergo tenogenic differentiation in the absence of growth factors and synthesize a matrix that is positive for tenomodulin, COMP and type I collagen. Up-regulation of tenomodulin, a tendon specific marker, is 11.6 ± 3.5 fold, COMP is up-regulated 16.7 ± 5.5 fold, and Col I is up-regulated 6.9 ± 2.7 fold greater on ELAC threads when compared to randomly oriented collagen gels. These results demonstrate that a bioscaffold woven using collagen threads with densely compacted and anisotropically aligned substrate texture stimulates tenogenesis topographically, rendering the electrochemically aligned collagen as a promising candidate for functional repair of tendons and ligaments.
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