Early development of a polycaprolactone electrospun augment for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
Savić L., Augustyniak EM., Kastensson A., Snelling S., Abhari RE., Baldwin M., Price A., Jackson W., Carr A., Mouthuy P-A.
Despite the clinical success of Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction (ACLR) in some patients, unsatisfactory clinical outcomes secondary to graft failure are seen, indicating the need to develop new regeneration strategies. The use of degradable and bioactive textiles has the potential to improve the biological repair of soft tissue. Electrospun (ES) filaments are particularly promising as they have the ability to mimic the structure of natural tissues and influence endogenous cell behaviour. In this study, we produced continuous polycaprolactone (PCL) ES filaments using a previously described electrospinning collection method. These filaments were stretched, twisted, and assembled into woven structures. The morphological, tensile, and biological properties of the woven fabric were then assessed. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images highlighted the aligned and ACL-like microfibre structure found in the stretched filaments. The tensile properties indicated that the ES fabric reached suitable strengths for a use as an ACLR augmentation device. Human ACL-derived cell cultured on the fabric showed approximately a 3-fold increase in cell number over 2 weeks and this was equivalent to a collagen coated synthetic suture commonly used in ACLR. Cells generally adopted a more elongated cell morphology on the ES fabric compared to the control suture, aligning themselves in the direction of the microfibres. A NRU assay confirmed that the ES fabric was non-cytotoxic according to regulatory standards. Overall, this study supports the development of ES textiles as augmentation devices for ACLR.