Tissue engineering offers an interesting alternative to current anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgeries. Indeed, a tissue-engineered solution could ideally overcome the long-term complications due to actual ACL reconstruction by being gradually replaced by biological tissue. Key requirements concerning the ideal scaffold for ligament tissue engineering are numerous and concern its mechanical properties, biochemical nature, and morphology. This study is aimed at predicting the morphology of a novel scaffold for ligament tissue engineering, based on multilayer braided biodegradable copoly(lactic acid-co-(e-caprolactone)) (PLCL) fibers The process used to create the scaffold is briefly presented, and the degradations of the material before and after the scaffold processing are compared. The process offers varying parameters, such as the number of layers in the scaffold, the pitch length of the braid, and the fibers’ diameter. The prediction of the morphology in terms of pore size distribution and pores interconnectivity as a function of these parameters is performed numerically using an original method based on a virtual scaffold. The virtual scaffold geometry and the prediction of pore size distribution are evaluated by comparison with experimental results. The presented process permits creation of a tailorable scaffold for ligament tissue engineering using basic equipment and from minimum amounts of raw material. The virtual scaffold geometry closely mimics the geometry of real scaffolds, and the prediction of the pore size distribution is found to be in good accordance with measurements on real scaffolds. The scaffold offers an interconnected network of pores the sizes of which are adjustable by playing on the process parameters and are able to match the ideal pore size reported for tissue ingrowth. The adjustability of the presented scaffold could permit its application in both classical ACL reconstructions and anatomical double-bundle reconstructions. The precise knowledge of the scaffold morphology using the virtual scaffold will be useful to interpret the activity of cells once it will be seeded into the scaffold. An interesting perspective of the present work is to perform a similar study aiming at predicting the mechanical response of the scaffold according to the same process parameters, by implanting the virtual scaffold into a finite element algorithm.

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