Biomechanical properties of bovine tendon xenografts treated with a modern processing method

Henry B. Colaço*, Breck R. Lord, Diane Back, Andrew Davies, Andrew A. Amis, Adil Ajuied

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Xenograft tendons have been used in few human studies, with variable results. With the advent of novel tissue processing techniques, which may mitigate against an immune-mediated rejection response without adversely affecting mechanical properties, there may now be a clinical role for xenograft tendons, particularly in knee ligament reconstruction. We hypothesize that ‘BioCleanse®’ processed bovine extensor digitorum medialis (EDM) tendons exhibit favorable time-zero pre-implantation biomechanical characteristics when compared to both unprocessed bovine EDM tendons and BioCleanse® processed human cadaveric allograft tibialis anterior tendons. In this in vitro case controlled laboratory study, three groups of tendons underwent a 5-stage static loading test protocol: 15 BioCleanse® bovine (BCB), 15 fresh frozen unprocessed bovine (FFB), and 12 BioCleanse® human allograft (BCA) tendons. Cross-sectional area of the grafts was measured using an alginate molding technique, and tendons were mounted within an Instron® 5565 Materials Testing System using cryogenic clamps. BCB tendons displayed a higher ultimate tensile stress (p<0.05), with equivalent ultimate failure load, creep, and modulus of elasticity when compared to the FFB tendons (p>0.05). BCB tendons had an equivalent cross-sectional area to the BCA tendons (p>0.05) whilst exhibiting a greater failure load, ultimate tensile stress, less creep and a higher modulus of elasticity (p<0.05). The BioCleanse® process did not adversely affect the time-zero biomechanical properties of bovine xenograft EDM tendons. BioCleanse® processed bovine xenograft EDM tendons exhibited superior biomechanical characteristics when compared with BioCleanse® processed allograft tibialis anterior tendons. These findings support further investigation of xenograft tendons in orthopedic soft tissue reconstructive surgery.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-147
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Biomechanics
    Early online date13 Jan 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2017


    • Biomechanics of tendon
    • Knee ligaments
    • Sterilization
    • Xenograft


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