Novel Silk Scaffolds for Ligament Tissue Engineering Applications
Scaffold technology is integral in advancing tissue engineering and one of the tissues of interest here is the tendon/ligament. Advancement in the tissue engineering of tendon/ligament has become very much a materials engineering problem than ever, with the selection of appropriate biomaterial and scaffold architecture. Such is the key to successful tendon/ligament tissue regeneration construct. Popular materials used in recent years include various poly (l-lactic) biomaterials and collagen. However, shortcomings of these materials, in terms of poor mechanical strength or short degradation period, are yet overcome. Bombyx mori silk, though used in biomedical sutures for decades due to its excellent mechanical properties, has been overlooked for applications in ligament tissue engineering, only until recently. This is largely due to previous misconceptions in its biocompatibility and biodegradability characteristics. This paper describes the use of a silk-based scaffold with knitted architecture and investigates its strengths as compared to previous PLGA-based knitted scaffolds. An electrospun nanofiber surface on knitted microfiber architecture is adopted and it is found to have better composite-material integrity, in vitro degradation resistance, and encourages cell adhesion and proliferation.
Soon-Bok Lee and Yun-Jae Kim
S.L. Toh et al., "Novel Silk Scaffolds for Ligament Tissue Engineering Applications", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 326-328, pp. 727-730, 2006