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Comparison of the mechanical characteristics of polymerized caprolactam and monofilament nylon loops constructed in parallel strands or as braided ropes versus cranial cruciate ligaments of cattle

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 3 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 4 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the mechanical characteristics of polymerized caprolactam and monofilament nylon loops with those of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in cattle.

Sample—6 femorotibial joints harvested from 3 cows and suture constructs made from No. 8 polymerized caprolactam, 80-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line, and 450-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line.

Procedures—Joints were cleared of soft tissue structures except the CCL, connected to a load frame, and loaded to failure while measuring force and elongation. Synthetic constructs tested in a similar manner included single-stranded and 3-stranded No. 8 polymerized caprolactam, 3- and 6-stranded 80-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line, and 3- and 6-stranded 450-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line.

Results—The CCL ruptured at a mean ± SD force of 4,541 ± 1,417 N with an elongation of 2.0 ± 0.3 cm. The tensile strength of 3-stranded 450-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line was similar to that of the CCL, rupturing at loads of 5,310 ± 369 N (braided strands) and 6,260 ± 239 N (parallel strands). Elongation was greater for braided constructs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The 3-stranded cords of 450-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line most closely approximated the strength of the CCL. Marked increases in elongation occur when large-sized materials are constructed in braided configurations, and this elongation would likely not provide stability in CCL-deficient stifle joints. Additional studies are needed to determine whether any of these materials are suitable CCL replacements in cattle.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the mechanical characteristics of polymerized caprolactam and monofilament nylon loops with those of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in cattle.

Sample—6 femorotibial joints harvested from 3 cows and suture constructs made from No. 8 polymerized caprolactam, 80-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line, and 450-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line.

Procedures—Joints were cleared of soft tissue structures except the CCL, connected to a load frame, and loaded to failure while measuring force and elongation. Synthetic constructs tested in a similar manner included single-stranded and 3-stranded No. 8 polymerized caprolactam, 3- and 6-stranded 80-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line, and 3- and 6-stranded 450-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line.

Results—The CCL ruptured at a mean ± SD force of 4,541 ± 1,417 N with an elongation of 2.0 ± 0.3 cm. The tensile strength of 3-stranded 450-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line was similar to that of the CCL, rupturing at loads of 5,310 ± 369 N (braided strands) and 6,260 ± 239 N (parallel strands). Elongation was greater for braided constructs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The 3-stranded cords of 450-lb test monofilament nylon fishing line most closely approximated the strength of the CCL. Marked increases in elongation occur when large-sized materials are constructed in braided configurations, and this elongation would likely not provide stability in CCL-deficient stifle joints. Additional studies are needed to determine whether any of these materials are suitable CCL replacements in cattle.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Anderson's present address is Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.

Dr. Johnson's present address is Nanofiber Solutions LLC, 1275 Kinnear Rd, Columbus, OH 43212.

The authors thank Lorie Kipp, Margie Price, Bill Cox, and Dr. Gabe Coleman for help in creation of the suture constructs and Tim Vojt for assistance with the illustrations.

Address correspondence to Dr. Niehaus (andrew.niehaus@cvm.osu.edu).