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In vivo and in vitro cellular ingrowth into a new generation of artificial ligaments

Authors: K Trieb, H Blahovec, G Brand, M Sabeti, M Doninkus, R Kotz

References: Eur Surg Res 2004; 36:148 – 151

Although the new generation of artificial ligaments are showing encouraging clinical results in contrast
to earlier generations, studies on the biological properties are lacking. Biopsies were taken from a
LARS, six months post implantation and investigated by histochemistry. An in vitro study seeding
human fibroblasts or osteoblast-like cells (up to 106 cells for 21 days) on ligament pieces (5 x 5mm)
was concluded and analysed. The biopsies showed complete cellular and connective tissue ingrowth
in the LARS. In vitro fibreblasts and osteoblast-like cells encapsulated the fibres by bending a cellular
net around them. This mechanism might explain the strength and inert behaviour of the ligament
without the synovitus associated with previous artificial ligaments.

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