news

Lawrence Tech researchers regenerate ligament tissues

Release Date: January 16, 1971

yli-spt.jpgLTU Assistant Professor Yawen Li wants to utilize tissue engineering to regenerate ligament tissue that could make surgical repairs both less invasive and more effective for people who suffer painful and potentially debilitating anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears in their knees. 

Li and her students are using a combination of cells, biomaterial scaffolds, and mechanical and biochemical stimulations to regenerate ligament tissues. During this process, the scaffold – usually made of biodegradable polymers – initially provides mechanical support to the cells, then gradually breaks down until the new tissue that has formed takes over the mechanical load.

The research team is using LTU’s state-of-the-art environmental scanning electron microscope – the first of its kind in the Detroit area – to study the mechanical properties and microstructure of different types of nanofiber scaffolds and to conduct biochemical tests to evaluate the interaction of cells with polymeric nanofiber materials.