In several cases, current therapies available to treat a large number of musculoskeletal system diseases are unsatisfactory as they provide only temporary or partial restoration of the damaged or degenerated site. In an attempt to maintain a high standard of life quality and minimise the economic losses due to the treatments of these frequently occurring ailments and subsequent lost working days, alternative therapies are being explored. Contrary to the current treatments, tissue engineering aims to regenerate the impaired tissue rather than repair and alleviate the symptoms; thus offering a definitive solution.
The annulus fibrosus (AF) of the intervertebral disc (IVD) is a musculoskeletal system component frequently subjected to degeneration and rupture, characterised by predominance of anisotropically arranged collagen fibres.
In the present thesis, electrospinning technology is used to fabricate polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds intended to replicate the anisotropic structure of the AF. [Continues.]
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
Royal Society International Joint Project JP101627, FP7-PEOPLE-2012- IRSES (SkelGen) 318553 and EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine