The effect of thrombin on ACL fibroblast interactions with collagen hydrogels

Martha M. Murray, B. Forsythe, F. Chen, S. J. Lee, J. J. Yoo, A. Atala, A. Steinert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Premature loss of provisional scaffold formation has been identified as one of the factors responsible for poor healing of intraarticular tissues. To address this deficiency, substitute provisional scaffolds are being developed. The function of these scaffolds can be enhanced by the addition of specific extracellular matrix proteins. In this study, it was hypothesized that the addition of thrombin to a provisional scaffold material would result in increases in cell proliferation, collagen production, and cell migration within the scaffold. These three parameters are thought to be critical components of wound healing. Gels containing fibrin and collagen supplemented with either 0, 10.5, 21, or 42 U/mL of thrombin were placed in contact with explants of tissue from the anterior cruciate ligament. The addition of thrombin stimulated cell migration at low concentrations and impaired migration at higher concentrations, and had no significant effect on cell proliferation or collagen production. The use of all concentrations of thrombin resulted in mechanically weaker gels. Thus, the use of thrombin to optimize a collagen-platelet rich plasma (PRP) provisional scaffold must be done with caution, and use of high concentrations of thrombin (>42 IU/mL) should be avoided specifically in situations where gel strength or cell ingrowth is important. Use of low concentrations of thrombin (10.5 IU/ mL) may be beneficial in applications where a faster set time and enhanced cell migration are desirable and the gel mechanical strength is of secondary importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-515
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • ACL
  • Collagen hydrogels
  • Fibroblast
  • Thrombin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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