Ligaments are fibrous tissues connecting bone-to-bone, and are prone to injuries upon excessive loading. Due to low vascularity and dynamic nature, injured ligaments do not have self-healing capacity, and surgical treatment is needed. Ligaments are composed mainly of collagen that provide elasticity as well as resistance to mechanical loadings. Research performed on human, bovine, and sheep Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) demonstrated that collagen fibril diameter exhibits a bimodal (two-peak) and unimodal (normal) distribution for healthy and injured tissues, respectively.
We, at BIREL, aim at measuring the collagen fibril diameter distribution of healthy and injured ACL tissues of various species, fabricating scaffolds with diameter distributions mimicking those of healthy and injured bovine ACL tissues, and performing in-vitro and in-vivo experiments for evaluating performance of scaffolds to see if they could serve as candidates of grafts for ACL reconstruction.