Evaluation at 4, 6 and 12 months of the biomechanical and ultrastructural features of the patellar tendon autograft pro-ACL in a sheep model

S. Zaffagnini, M. Rocca, M. Viceconti, M. C. Maltarello, A. Toni, I. Loreti, M. Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The authors have developed an experimental sheep model utilizing the central one third of the patellar tendon for ACL reconstruction in order to develop the basic knowledge for future feasible and accurate studies on development of new surgical technique. 28 animals were operated and sacrified at 4, 6 and 12 months after reconstruction of the ACL on the left knee. The right knee was used as intact control. Half of the specimen underwent biomechanical evaluation, while in the second half transmission electron microscopy analysis was performed as well as morphometric analysis. Biomechanical test demonstrated an improvement of the graft features from 4 to 12 months, when the characteristics are close to the ACL ones. Ultrastructural evaluation has shown an architectural remodelling of the collagen fibrils which slowly transform in a structure similar to the ACL, but still at one year the diameter of the collagen fibrils is different from the normal ACL, with unimodal distribution of the diameter with prevalently small fibrils (65.8 nm). The graft implanted pro-ACL at one year demonstrated biomechanical and architectural features similar to the normal ACL even without an identical fibrils composition. These data emphasize that the graft architectural remodelling can be important in obtaining a good biomechanical behaviour compared to collagen fibrils composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Sports Traumatology and Related Research
Volume18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996

Keywords

  • ACL
  • Animal models
  • Surgical treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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