Researchers have bioengineered an implantable scaffold that may one day help a certain kind of knee ligament, commonly torn during sports injuries, repair itself.

The scaffold, seeded with ligament cells, has been shown to regenerate new tissue in the damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of rabbits.

“It is my hope that these studies will lead to a revolutionary new treatment strategy for patients suffering from ACL tears,” Cato Laurencin, a professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia, told Agence France-Presse.

Laurencin, who received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Princeton, is the lead author of a paper describing the technique in the Feb 20-23 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Washington Post also covered the story.

For those who prefer to read about this innovation in French, here is a piece from 20