Among the five ligaments in the knee the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is among the most important for stability and also the most commonly injured. Due to a lack of vascularization, the ACL has poor healing potential, therefore moderate to severe damage warrants medical intervention. Ligaments are complex, highly organized tissues; they are longitudinally arranged with a great deal of order that begins at the molecular level and carries through to the tissue level. The components of the ligament and their location and orientation heavily influence the tissue's mechanical behavior. ACL replacements have faced a variety of limitations that prevented their extensive use, including implant fatigue or fraying of the device. In the face of these problems, investigators have begun to examine a variety of matrix based techniques to create options for ACL repair, replacement, and regeneration. This article will discuss ACL structure and mechanics, past replacement options and their limitations, and recent tissue engineered options for ACL repair. These techniques employ a wide variety of designs, materials, and methods to heal damaged ACL tissue or regenerate lost tissue in order to regain full ACL strength and mechanics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics