Regeneration and repair of tendon and ligament tissue using collagen fibre biomaterials

Acta Biomater. 2011 Sep;7(9):3237-47. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2011.06.002. Epub 2011 Jun 13.


Collagen fibres are ubiquitous macromolecular assemblies in nature, providing the structures that support tensile mechanical loads within the human body. Aligned type I collagen fibres are the primary structural motif for tendon and ligament, and therefore biomaterials based on these structures are considered promising candidates for mediating regeneration of these tissues. However, despite considerable investigation, there remains no collagen-fibre-based biomaterial that has undergone clinical evaluation for this application. Recent research in this area has significantly enhanced our understanding of these complex and challenging biomaterials, and is reinvigorating interest in the development of such structures to recapitulate mechanical function. In this review we describe the progress to date towards a ligament or tendon regeneration template based on collagen fibre scaffolds. We highlight reports of particular relevance to the development of the underlying biomaterials science in this area. In addition, the potential for tailoring and manipulating the interactions between collagen fibres and biological systems, as hybrid biomaterial-biological ensembles, is discussed in the context of developing novel tissue engineering strategies for tendon and ligament.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Collagen / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Ligaments / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Regeneration
  • Tendons / physiology*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Collagen