Swiss Scientists Develop New Hydrogel to Repair Cartilage

Posted on 1/22/2019 12:23:49 PM By ASC

Hydrogels have been the subject of study as medical adhesives that could repair internal tissues or close wounds, but a research team from the ÉcolePolytechniqueFédérale de Lausanne says it has developed a hydrogel that will adhere to cartilage. 

Because cartilage doesn’t have a blood supply, it doesn’t regenerate, but the hydrogel could be used to repair it and to deliver drugs. It consists of 90 percent water with polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate, alginate, and nanofibrillated cellulose and is reported to be ten times stronger than currently available bioadhesives. It retains adhesion over time because it is able to absorb the mechanical stress that would ordinarily wear away at bonds. 

The researchers say that the new adhesive material could be used to help with implantation of titanium plates in fractured bones, or allow for suture-free wound closure. The next step will be to try using the hydrogel as a vehicle for drug delivery. 


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