A comparison of degradable synthetic polymer fibers for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Nick Tovar, Sharon Bourke, Michael Jaffe, N. Sanjeeva Murthy, Joachim Kohn, Charles Gatt, Michael G. Dunn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Scopus citations


    We compared mechanical properties, degradation rates, and cellular compatibilities of two synthetic polymer fibers potentially useful as ACL reconstruction scaffolds: poly(desaminotyrosyl-tyrosine dodecyl dodecanedioate)( 12,10), p(DTD DD) and poly(L-lactic acid), PLLA. The yield stress of ethylene oxide (ETO) sterilized wet fibers was 150 ± 22 MPa and 87 ± 12 MPa for p(DTD DD) and PLLA, respectively, with moduli of 1.7 6 0.1 MPa and 4.4 ± 0.43 MPa. Strength and molecular weight retention were determined after incubation under physiological conditions at varying times. After 64 weeks strength decreased to 20 and 37% of the initial sterile fiber values and MW decreased to 41% and 36% of the initial values for p(DTD DD) and PLLA, respectively. ETO sterilization had no significant effect on mechanical properties. Differences in mechanical behavior may be due to the semicrystalline nature of PLLA and the small degree of crystallinity induced by mesogenic ordering in p(DTD DD) suggested by DSC analysis. Fibroblast growth was similar on 50-fiber scaffolds of both polymers through 16 days in vitro. These data suggest that p(DTD DD) fibers, with higher strength, lower stiffness, favorable degradation rate and cellular compatibility, may be a superior alternative to PLLA fibers for development of ACL reconstruction scaffolds.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)738-747
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - May 2010

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Ceramics and Composites
    • Biomaterials
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Metals and Alloys


    • ACL reconstruction
    • Cell compatibility
    • Fiber scaffold
    • Polymer
    • Tissue engineering


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