Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair and Biologic Innovations

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Since the early 1970s, there has been marked interest in developing a synthetic material or an off-the-shelf product to surgically replace or repair a damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)1. Initial attempts at ACL repair with suture began in the late 1800s; however, there were poor results and this technique was largely abandoned until recent research investigated bio-enhanced ACL repair utilizing collagen-based scaffolds2-4. Scientists are challenged to overcome two major obstacles in creating an ACL: unique viscoelastic mechanical properties of the ACL and the ACL’s intra-articular location. The viscoelastic properties of the ACL offer differential load support during knee movement so that different regions of the ligament are tightened during the normal range of motion of the knee3-5.
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