Optimization of a Biomimetic Poly-(Lactic Acid) Ligament Scaffold - Andrew Uehlin
From Katie Gentilello
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured ligament of the knee, often requiring orthopedic reconstruction using autograft or allograph tissue, both with significant disadvantages. As a result, tissue engineering an ACL replacement graft has been heavily investigated. This study attempts to replicate the morphology and mechanical properties of the ACL using a nanomatrix composite of highly-aligned poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fibers with various surface and biochemical modifications. Additionally, this study attempts to recreate the natural mineralization gradient found at the ACL enthesis onto the scaffold, capable of inducing a favorable cellular response in vitro. Furthering the development of the PLA nanomatrix composite, a bioinkjet printer was used to immobilize nanoparticulate hydroxyapatite (HANP) on the surface of the scaffold. The results of studies assessing the proliferation and differentiation response of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in vitro with a variety of conditions and combinations of the PLA nanofiber scaffold surface modifications will be presented.