Characterization of knitted polymeric scaffolds for potential use in ligament tissue engineering
Different scaffolds have been designed for ligament tissue engineering. Knitted scaffolds of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) yarns and co-polymeric yarns of PLLA and poly(glycolic acid) (PLGA) were characterized in the current study. The knitted scaffolds were immersed in medium for 20 weeks, before mass loss, molecular weight, pH value change in medium were tested; changes in mechanical properties were evaluated at different time points. Results showed that the knitted scaffolds had 44% porosity. There was no significant pH value change during degradation, while there was obvious mass loss at initial 4 week, as well as smooth molecular weight drop of PLLA. PLGA degraded more quickly, while PLLA kept its integrity for at least 20 weeks. Young's modulus increased while tensile strength and strain at break decreased with degradation time; however, all of them could maintain the basic requirements for ACL reconstruction. It showed that the knitted polymeric structures could serve as potential scaffolds for tissue-engineered ligaments.
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