In vitro formation and maturation of a hard/soft tissue interface

Paxton, Jennifer Z.; Bannerman, Alistair; Koburger, Susanne; Tan, Yanni; Bowen, James; Dehghani, Hamid and Grover, Liam M. (2012). In vitro formation and maturation of a hard/soft tissue interface. In: 9th World Biomaterials Congress, 1-5 Jun 2012, Chengdu, China.



In vivo, there are several areas where soft tissues (ligament/tendon) interface with hard tissue (bone). These interfaces are chemically and mechanically adpated through a gradual increase in mineralisation to allow the dissipation of stress and strain at the junction of tissues with dissimilar properties. Current tissue-engineering methods of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair do not attempt to recreate the interfacial region of the tissue and in vivo, bone-tendon/ligament healing is poor. Therefore, it is pertinent to improve regeneration at the hard/soft tissue interface or to engineer this complex structure in vitro if engineered tissues are to become a realistic clinical possibility. We have developed artificial bone-ligament-bone constructs in vitro complete with a functional hard/soft tissue interface. Our current work focusses on evaluation of different ceramic materials to form an in vitro tissue interface and the use of histology, SEM and Raman microscopy to visualise maturation of this region over time allowing the ability of materials to form graded interfacial regions to be assessed.

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