• tendinopathy;
  • platelet-derived growth factor-BB;
  • platelet-rich plasma;
  • corticosteroid;
  • biomechanics


This study compared the effect of intra-tendon (IT) delivery of recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-BB (rhPDGF-BB), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and corticosteroids in a rat tendinopathy model. Seven days after collagenase induction of tendinopathy, a 30-µl IT injection was administered. Treatments included: saline; 3 µg rhPDGF-BB; 10 µg rhPDGF-BB; PRP; and 300 µg triamcinolone acetonide (TCA). Outcomes were assessed 7 and 21 days after treatment. All groups exhibited good to excellent repair. Relative to saline, cell proliferation increased 65% in the 10 µg rhPDGF-BB group and decreased 74% in the TCA group; inflammation decreased 65% in the TCA group. At 7 days, maximum load-to-failure was increased in the 3 µg rhPDGF-BB group relative to saline, PRP, and TCA (p < 0.025). On day 21, maximum load-to-rupture was increased in the 10 µg rhPDGF-BB group relative to saline, PRP, and TCA (p < 0.035) and in the 3 µg rhPDGF-BB group compared to saline and TCA (p < 0.027). Stiffness in the 10 µg rhPDGF-BB group was increased compared to saline, PRP, and TCA (p < 0.038). Histology demonstrated similar repair in all groups. PRP and TCA did not improve mechanical properties compared to saline. Injections of rhPDGF-BB increased maximum load-to-failure (3 and 10 µg) and stiffness (10 µg) relative to controls and commonly used treatments. © 2013 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 32:145–150, 2014.