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Stem Cells International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 374676, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/374676
Review Article

Tissue Engineering Strategies in Ligament Regeneration

1Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Sihhiye, 06100 Ankara, Turkey
2Department of Biochemistry, Cukurova University Faculty of Medicine, Balcali, 01330 Adana, Turkey
3Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Cukurova University Faculty of Medicine, Balcali, 01330 Adana, Turkey

Received 15 October 2011; Revised 9 November 2011; Accepted 14 November 2011

Academic Editor: Wasim S. Khan

Copyright © 2012 Caglar Yilgor et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Ligaments are dense fibrous connective tissues that connect bones to other bones and their injuries are frequently encountered in the clinic. The current clinical approaches in ligament repair and regeneration are limited to autografts, as the gold standard, and allografts. Both of these techniques have their own drawbacks that limit the success in clinical setting; therefore, new strategies are being developed in order to be able to solve the current problems of ligament grafting. Tissue engineering is a novel promising technique that aims to solve these problems, by producing viable artificial ligament substitutes in the laboratory conditions with the potential of transplantation to the patients with a high success rate. Direct cell and/or growth factor injection to the defect site is another current approach aiming to enhance the repair process of the native tissue. This review summarizes the current approaches in ligament tissue engineering strategies including the use of scaffolds, their modification techniques, as well as the use of bioreactors to achieve enhanced regeneration rates, while also discussing the advances in growth factor and cell therapy applications towards obtaining enhanced ligament regeneration.