Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is the development of a ligament augmentation device that can be implanted during ligament reconstruction surgery to accelerate healing and protect the repair. The typical recovery time for an overhead throwing athlete after ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction is one year. The support and healing properties of this technology may accelerate the recovery process. There is a high demand for technology that would allow athletes to return to play more quickly after injury. This technology seeks to decrease recovery time for athletes, improving quality of life. Ultimately, the opportunity for a faster recovery from ligament reconstruction surgery could be available to any patient, for any ligament or tendon. There are many other connective tissues in the body that could also benefit from advanced biologic materials. Therefore, this technology may advance research and development for not only elbow UCL repair but potentially many surgeries involving connective tissue repairs. This I-Corps project is based on the development of a biological material for connective tissue healing. This material technology mechanically matches the material properties of a healthy ligament which can improve healing of the repaired ligament. Additionally, this technology balances elastic strength with absorbable biomaterials such that over time, increasing stress can be transferred to the reconstructed ligament. Furthermore, the porous, bioactive material of the device encourages ligament regrowth within the graft. Together, these properties may provide the athlete with a better ligament repair and shorter recovery time following surgery. Current elbow UCL construction techniques require a palmaris longus tendon autograft. The extra time required to harvest the palmaris longus tendon is responsible for increased costs in the operating room. Additionally, the palmaris longus tendon graft leaves the patient with unnecessary trauma. This product could obviate the need for autograft, decreasing costs and avoiding trauma to the patient.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date1/11/2231/10/23


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.