Journal article Open Access

Regeneration of the anterior cruciate ligament: Current strategies in tissue engineering

Nau, Thomas; Teuschl, Andreas

Recent advancements in the field of musculoskeletal tissue engineering have raised an increasing interest in the regeneration of the  interior cruciate ligament (ACL). It is the aim of this article to review the current research efforts and highlight promising tissue  engineering strategies. The four main components of tissue engineering also apply in several ACL regeneration research efforts.  Scaffolds from biological materials, biodegradable polymers and composite materials are used. The main cell sources  are mesenchymal stem cells and ACL fibroblasts. In addition, growth factors and mechanical stimuli are applied. So far, the  regenerated ACL constructs have been tested in a few animal studies and the results are encouraging. The different strategies, from  in vitro ACL regeneration in bioreactor systems to bio-enhanced repair and regeneration, are under constant development. We expect considerable progress in the near future that will result in a realistic option for ACL surgery soon. 

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