The current choices for replacement ligament grafts include autologous patellar or hamstring tendons as well as allograft cadaver ligaments. Autologous procedures are associated with long recovery times and significant harvest site pain while allogenic grafts risk both disease transmission and infection. With the advent of tissue engineering, an attractive viable graft material may be on the horizon. However, culturing functional tissue engineered ligament grafts will likely require bioreactors capable of delivering controlled stresses/strains to cell-seeded scaffolds at specified frequencies inside a nutrient rich environment.
The development of successful orthopaedic tissue engineering constructs involves a combination of technologies derived from cell biology, materials science, chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering to produce tissues exhibiting a native state genotype and phenotype with appropriate mechanical and biological properties.
The variety of sensitive needs associated with ligament or tendon growth have triggered several unique and sophisticated process and design strategies in tissue growth. BISS has adopted specific strategies to address each pertinent application requirement:.
|Physiologic Requirements:||BISS LigaGen Solutions:|
|Convective Nutrient Transport:||Perfusion Capabilities|
|Uniform Cell Density:||Hydrogel Seeding In Situ|
|Mechanical Stimulation:||Mechanical and Hydrogel grip options|
|Native Physiological Structure and Function:||Biomimetic in vitro Environment|
The LigaGen architecture provides a physiologic support system that enhances metabolic conditions for cell growth and maintenance in a 3-D environment. Physiologic parameters are feedback-controlled for culture reproducibility. The flexible hardware and computer control systems allow for the development of a wide variety of automated experimental protocols with varying levels of complexity (frequency, force magnitude and application profile) and can accommodate scaffolds up to 150 mm in length.