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Article

Melt-Spun, Cross-Section Modified Polycaprolactone Fibers for Use in Tendon and Ligament Tissue Engineering

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Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA), RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
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Institute for BioMedical Printing Technology, Technical University of Darmstadt, 64289 Darmstadt, Germany
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Centre for Synthetic Biology, Technical University of Darmstadt, 64289 Darmstadt, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carlo Santulli
Fibers 2022, 10(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10030023
Received: 20 December 2021 / Revised: 13 February 2022 / Accepted: 1 March 2022 / Published: 2 March 2022
Tissue Engineering is considered a promising route to address existing deficits of autografts and permanent synthetic prostheses for tendons and ligaments. However, the requirements placed on the scaffold material are manifold and include mechanical, biological and degradation-related aspects. In addition, scalable processes and FDA-approved materials should be applied to ensure the transfer into clinical practice. To accommodate these aspects, this work focuses on the high-scale fabrication of high-strength and highly oriented polycaprolactone (PCL) fibers with adjustable cross-sectional geometry and degradation kinetics applying melt spinning technology. Four different fiber cross-sections were investigated to account for potential functionalization and cell growth guidance. Mechanical properties and crystallinity were studied for a 24-week exposure to phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at 37 °C. PCL fibers were further processed into scaffolds using multistage circular braiding with three different hierarchical structures. One structure was selected based on its morphology and scaled up in thickness to match the requirements for a human anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) replacement. Applying a broad range of draw ratios (up to DR9.25), high-strength PCL fibers with excellent tensile strength (up to 69 cN/tex) could be readily fabricated. The strength retention after 24 weeks in PBS at 37 °C was 83–93%. The following braiding procedure did not affect the scaffolds’ mechanical properties as long as the number of filaments and the braiding angle remained constant. Up-scaled PCL scaffolds resisted loads of up to 4353.88 ± 37.30 N, whilst matching the stiffness of the human ACL (111–396 N/mm). In conclusion, this work demonstrates the fabrication of highly oriented PCL fibers with excellent mechanical properties. The created fibers represent a promising building block that can be further processed into versatile textile implants for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. View Full-Text
Keywords: tissue engineering; ligament; tendon; polycaprolactone; PCL; melt spinning; cross-section modification; non-circular fibers; circular braiding; ACL tissue engineering; ligament; tendon; polycaprolactone; PCL; melt spinning; cross-section modification; non-circular fibers; circular braiding; ACL
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bauer, B.; Emonts, C.; Bonten, L.; Annan, R.; Merkord, F.; Vad, T.; Idrissi, A.; Gries, T.; Blaeser, A. Melt-Spun, Cross-Section Modified Polycaprolactone Fibers for Use in Tendon and Ligament Tissue Engineering. Fibers 2022, 10, 23. https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10030023

AMA Style

Bauer B, Emonts C, Bonten L, Annan R, Merkord F, Vad T, Idrissi A, Gries T, Blaeser A. Melt-Spun, Cross-Section Modified Polycaprolactone Fibers for Use in Tendon and Ligament Tissue Engineering. Fibers. 2022; 10(3):23. https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10030023

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bauer, Benedict, Caroline Emonts, Louisa Bonten, Rokaya Annan, Felix Merkord, Thomas Vad, Akram Idrissi, Thomas Gries, and Andreas Blaeser. 2022. "Melt-Spun, Cross-Section Modified Polycaprolactone Fibers for Use in Tendon and Ligament Tissue Engineering" Fibers 10, no. 3: 23. https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10030023

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