Live animals used in this study were in compliance with animal welfare ethical regulations and were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee before experimentation. Five 12-month-old male micropigs (20 to 25 kg, more than 1 year old) were obtained from Prestige BioResearch Pte Ltd (Singapore). All animals were fasted for 12 hours before surgery and then sedated with an intramuscular injection of atropine (0.05 mg kg−1), ketamine (10 mg kg−1), and xylazine (2.5 mg kg−1). Surgical procedures were performed under anesthesia using isoflurane inhalation. Briefly, a longitudinal incision was made at the median knee joint from patella to the proximal aspect of tibia in each of the two hind limbs of micropig. The removal of unnecessary connective tissues was performed, and a transected tissue region (2 cm in length) in the midtendon was snipped off to make a full rupture. Two pieces of the tendon scaffolds (gamma sterilization) were implanted side by side to reattach the tendon ends using a modified Kessler technology, as reported previously (45). Postoperative medication and monitoring were performed by facility vet daily, and casting bandage was removed 4 weeks after operation. Micropigs were euthanized 1 month (group I, two micropigs) and 3 months (group II, three micropigs) after operation, and implanted samples were collected for histological examination.

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