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Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery currently relies on the use of autograft and allograft tissue. Challenges facing these treatments, such as donor site morbidity and risk of disease transmission, have encouraged the pursuit of viable alternatives. Degradable polymer scaffolds offer an alternative to available treatment options by providing an ldquooff the shelfrdquo solution. Initially, the scaffold serves to stabilize the knee and function as a framework for host tissue infiltration. As resorption follows, the load is transferred from the degrading scaffold to the developing neoligament tissue. The objective of this study is to investigate the potential of a silk-collagen hybrid fiber scaffold as a ligament replacement device. In vitro tensile testing and cell proliferation studies favor the use of a high silk to collagen ratio for an optimal combination of mechanics and biological response. These preliminary results suggest that a silk-collagen scaffold has the mechanical strength and cell seeding ability necessary to potentially serve as an ACL replacement device.
Date of Conference: 3-5 April 2009