Tendon disorders are common medical conditions that could lead to significant disability, pain, healthcare costs, and a loss of productivity. Traditional approaches require long periods of treatment, and they largely fail due to the tissues weakening and the postoperative alterations of the normal joint mechanics. To overcome these limitations, innovative strategies for the treatment of these injuries need to be explored. The aim of the present work was the design of nano-fibrous scaffolds based on poly(butyl cyanoacrylate) (PBCA), a well-known biodegradable and biocompatible synthetic polymer, doped with copper oxide nanoparticles and caseinphosphopeptides (CPP), able to mimic the hierarchical structure of the tendon and to improve the tissue healing potential. These were developed as implants to be sutured to reconstruct the tendons and the ligaments during surgery. PBCA was synthetized, and then electrospun to produce aligned nanofibers. The obtained scaffolds were characterized for their structure and physico-chemical and mechanical properties, highlighting that CuO and CPP loading, and the aligned conformation determined an increase in the scaffold mechanical performance. Furthermore, the scaffolds loaded with CuO showed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, human tenocytes adhesion and proliferation to the scaffolds were assessed in vitro. Finally, the antibacterial activity of the scaffolds was evaluated using Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus as representative of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, respectively, demonstrating that the CuO-doped scaffolds possessed a significant antimicrobial effect against E. coli. In conclusion, scaffolds based on PBCA and doped with CuO and CPP deserve particular attention as enhancers of the tendon tissue regeneration and able to avoid bacterial adhesion. Further investigation on the scaffold efficacy in vivo will assess their capability for enhancing the tendon ECM restoration in view of accelerating their translation to the clinic.
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