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Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol. 2010 Aug 20;2:20. doi: 10.1186/1758-2555-2-20.

Novel strategies in tendon and ligament tissue engineering: Advanced biomaterials and regeneration motifs.

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Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA.


Tendon and ligaments have poor healing capacity and when injured often require surgical intervention. Tissue replacement via autografts and allografts are non-ideal strategies that can lead to future problems. As an alternative, scaffold-based tissue engineering strategies are being pursued. In this review, we describe design considerations and major recent advancements of scaffolds for tendon/ligament engineering. Specifically, we outline native tendon/ligament characteristics critical for design parameters and outcome measures, and introduce synthetic and naturally-derived biomaterials used in tendon/ligament scaffolds. We will describe applications of these biomaterials in advanced tendon/ligament engineering strategies including the utility of scaffold functionalization, cyclic strain, growth factors, and interface considerations. The goal of this review is to compile and interpret the important findings of recent tendon/ligament engineering research in an effort towards the advancement of regenerative strategies.

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