Tendon injuries, including acute tendon injuries and tendinopathy, are common in both occupational and athletic settings. However, current treatments for tendon injury are largely ineffective, as they cannot restore normal structure and function to injured tendons. This challenge mainly stems from our incomplete understanding of tendon cell properties and responses to biomechanical and biochemical environments surrounding the cells. In recent years, however, significant progress has been made on two fronts. First, tendon stem cells (TSCs) have been recently identified. The tendon-specific stem cells can self-renew and posses multi-differentiation potential and as such, may be used to repair injured tendons more effectively. Second, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has now been widely used in orthopaedics and sports medicine to treat injured tendons. In this presentation, I will present data on TSCs, in terms of their differential properties with respect to tenocytes and their differential mechano-responses when subjected to small and large mechanical loading conditions. I will also discuss the basic scientific studies on PRP regarding its effects on TSCs, particularly on their differentiation, which is a critical issue related to the safety and efficacy of PRP treatment in clinics (Fig. 1).

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