Generation of stem cell-based bioartificial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) grafts for effective ACL rupture repair

Dimitrios Kouroupis, Athena Kyrkou, Eleni Triantafyllidi, Michalis Katsimpoulas, George Chalepakis, Anna Goussia, Anastasios Georgoulis, Carol Murphy, Theodore Fotsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In the present study, we combined stem cell technology with a non-absorbable biomaterial for the reconstruction of the ruptured ACL. Towards this purpose, multipotential stromal cells derived either from subcutaneous human adipose tissue (hAT-MSCs) or from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from human foreskin fibroblasts (hiPSC-MSCs) were cultured on the biomaterial for 21 days in vitro to generate a 3D bioartifical ACL graft. Stem cell differentiation towards bone and ligament at the ends and central part of the biomaterial was selectively induced using either BMP-2/FGF-2 or TGF-β/FGF-2 combinations, respectively. The bioartificial ACL graft was subsequently implanted in a swine ACL rupture model in place of the surgically removed normal ACL. Four months post-implantation, the tissue engineered ACL graft generated an ACL-like tissue exhibiting morphological and biochemical characteristics resembling those of normal ACL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-457
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
  • Bioartificial ACL graft
  • Biomaterials
  • Human adipose tissue multipotential stromal cells
  • Human induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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