Additively manufactured polyethylene terephthalate scaffolds for scapholunate interosseous ligament reconstruction

M. Natividad Gomez-Cerezo, Nataliya Perevoshchikova, Rui Ruan, Kevin M. Moerman, Randy Bindra, David G. Lloyd, Ming Hao Zheng, David J. Saxby, Cedryck Vaquette

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The regeneration of the ruptured scapholunate interosseous ligament (SLIL) represents a clinical challenge. Here, we propose the use of a Bone-Ligament-Bone (BLB) 3D-printed polyethylene terephthalate (PET) scaffold for achieving mechanical stabilisation of the scaphoid and lunate following SLIL rupture. The BLB scaffold featured two bone compartments bridged by aligned fibres (ligament compartment) mimicking the architecture of the native tissue. The scaffold presented tensile stiffness in the range of 260 ± 38 N/mm and ultimate load of 113 ± 13 N, which would support physiological loading. A finite element analysis (FEA), using inverse finite element analysis (iFEA) for material property identification, showed an adequate fit between simulation and experimental data. The scaffold was then biofunctionalized using two different methods: injected with a Gelatin Methacryloyl solution containing human mesenchymal stem cell spheroids (hMSC) or seeded with tendon-derived stem cells (TDSC) and placed in a bioreactor to undergo cyclic deformation. The first approach demonstrated high cell viability, as cells migrated out of the spheroid and colonised the interstitial space of the scaffold. These cells adopted an elongated morphology suggesting the internal architecture of the scaffold exerted topographical guidance. The second method demonstrated the high resilience of the scaffold to cyclic deformation and the secretion of a fibroblastic related protein was enhanced by the mechanical stimulation. This process promoted the expression of relevant proteins, such as Tenomodulin (TNMD), indicating mechanical stimulation may enhance cell differentiation and be useful prior to surgical implantation. In conclusion, the PET scaffold presented several promising characteristics for the immediate mechanical stabilisation of disassociated scaphoid and lunate and, in the longer-term, the regeneration of the ruptured SLIL.
Original languageEnglish
Article number213397
JournalBiomaterials Advances
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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