A new treatment for damaged cartilage….
Scientists have developed a new nanofiber gel that promotes the growth of cartilage in damaged joints, without the need for expensive growth factors.
The nanoscopic material is injected into the joint where it stimulates bone marrow cells to produce cartilage containing type II collagen. Type II collagen is the major protein in articular cartilage, the white connective tissue that cushions bones within the joint.
Damaged cartilage occurs in many people, especially athletes and older adults. Over time, symptoms can become extremely painful and may lead to loss of physical function. Currently, there is no therapy able to effectively treat damaged cartilage, but researchers now hope the new findings will path the way for a regenerative treatment.
The study’s lead author, Ramille N. Shah, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a university news release:
“Cartilage does not regenerate in adults. Once you are fully grown, you have all the cartilage you’ll ever have…
“A procedure called microfracture is the most common technique currently used by doctors, but it tends to produce a cartilage having predominately type I collagen, which is more like scar tissue,”
In the microfracture procedure, small holes are drilled in the bone beneath the damaged cartilage to create a new blood supply to stimulate the growth of new cartilage.
Tests in lab animals showed that the nanoscopic material produced better results than the microfracture procedure alone, the researchers said.
The study was published online in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
TAGS :Future, Health, Health Care, Medical, News, Orthopedic Surgery
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