Scaffolds To Regenerate Ligaments

(From the Technology Review). Scientists continue to explore the use of scaffolds to convince the body to heal and regrow where it normally will not: "Surgical reconstruction is typically required to repair the [anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)], but current methods continue to take significant recovery time, during which a patient may sustain a loss of strength and function. Now, [researchers]have bioengineered a new ACL replacement using a 3-D polymeric fiber braiding process. It's the first synthetic scaffold design to demonstrate exceptional tissue regeneration and healing, and it could lead to a promising ligament-replacement technology. ... Our goal was to regenerate the ACL using classic design principles from engineering and material that has mechanical properties that mimic the natural ACL ... There just hasn't been very much successful work done on tissue-engineering ligaments. This [is] a very significant discovery. I haven't seen anybody do what they are doing with ligaments before." This work is still in the animal study stage; a few years yet before human trials start by the look of it.

Link: http://www.technologyreview.com/printer_friendly_article.aspx?id=18421

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