The primary goal for this research is to create a tissue-engineered anterio cruciate ligament (ACL) to replace or augment a damaged ACL. It has been hypothesized that the application of mechanical loading to connective tissue cells grown in a three-dimensional matrix will modulate cell expression to produce a tissue that will be stronger than that with no added strain. Thin approach is part of a Functional Tissue Engineering approach designed to implement strain conditions that simulate dynamic tissue environments. Some of the results that will be focused on are the biochemical, biomechanical, and the intercellular communication signal outcome measures. In addition, the successfully-grown three-dimensional construct will be implanted in an animal model (mouse) to determine the stability of the graft in vivo. The immunogenic response of the animal model to the construct will be observed and evaluated as well.
|Jones, Bertina F; Wall, Michelle E; Carroll, R Lloyd et al. (2005) Ligament cells stretch-adapted on a microgrooved substrate increase intercellular communication in response to a mechanical stimulus. J Biomech 38:1653-64|