Degradable Phosphate Based Fibers
Bihan Chen                                          BME 240: Introduction to Clinical Medicine
In a study done by Rathbone et al., the researchers explored reconstructive options of the ACL. They looked at the efficacy and efficiency of using a degradable phosphate based glass fiber to promote cell growth. The fibers are made of NaO, CaO, P2O5, MnO, B2O3, Na-F and Fe2O3 and its mechanical properties (after tensile testing) indicate that they possess a high tensile strength, a high stiffness and a high resistance to fracture (stiffness and resistance both greater than ACL). Below is some fluromicroscopy and SEM imaging of the glass fibers and cell proliferation:

Cell proliferation was supported on the fibers samples and the glass fibers show adequate strength for a cell culture scaffold to be used for tissue engineering of an ACL.
            The down side is that they are very stiff and so the researchers are now hypothesizing of having a composite made from glass fiber and polymer to introduce some elasticity.