Degradable polymers as ACL substitutes
The anterior cruciate ligament is the most commonly injured ligament of the knee joint and, due to its limited healing potential, surgical replacement is often required. Although the present treatment options are fairly successful, they have drawbacks that can lead to suboptimal results. Autografts, the gold standard replacement option, relies on donor tissue and raises the issue of harvest site morbidity and limited tissue supply. Allografts from cadaveric tissue possess the risk of immunogenic response and disease transmission. Current synthetic grafts cause stress shielding and lack the ability to support new tissue regeneration. Tissue engineering is an emerging approach to address the key limitations of the present modalities used in the treatment of injured musculoskeletal tissue, including the anterior cruciate ligament. In recent years, the use of biodegradable polymers in ligament replacement has gained popularity among researchers. This chapter presents an overview of the tissue engineering approach to designing a ligament scaffold as well as the current research and development advancements achieved to date.
Taylor, ED; Laurencin, CT
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