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J Biomech. 2007;40(9):2029-36. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

Tissue engineering of the anterior cruciate ligament using a braid-twist scaffold design.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The University of Virginia, 400 Ray C. Hunt Drive, Ste 330, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA.


The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured intra-articular ligament of the knee. The insufficient vascularization of this tissue prevents it from healing completely after extreme tearing or rupture, creating a need for ACL grafts for reconstruction. The limitations of existing grafts have motivated the investigation of tissue-engineered ACL grafts. A successful tissue-engineered graft must possess mechanical properties similar to the ACL; to date no commercially available synthetic graft has achieved this. To accomplish this goal we have combined the techniques of polymer fiber braiding and twisting to design a novel poly L-lactic acid (PLLA) braid-twist scaffold for ACL tissue engineering. The scaffold is designed to accurately mimic the biomechanical profile and mechanical properties of the ACL. In this study, braid-twist scaffolds were constructed and compared to braided scaffolds and twisted fiber scaffolds. The addition of fiber twisting to the braided scaffold resulted in a significant increase in the ultimate tensile strength, an increase in ultimate strain, and an increase in the length of the toe region in these constructs over scaffolds that were braided. Based on the findings of this study, the braid-twist scaffold studied was found to be a promising construct for tissue engineering of the ACL.

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