Article and comment – The next step in knee cartilage replacement

Although the hope of replacing damaged cartilage cells in joints, such as in the knees, has been around since about 1987, there has been varying levels of success. The main problem has been fixing the new cartilage cells to the knee joint and getting them to stick.

Recent trials at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China have used hydrogel as a scaffold for the cells to grow on to try to solve this problem. In pig trials, after applying this combination, the knee cartilage after 6 months was well healed.

Although there have not been any reports of human trials of this hydrogel/cartilage cell combination, it will be exciting to watch this space over the next few years as a hope of seeing damaged cartilage improved and reduced development of arthritis.

Le Page, M (2021) Gel could help treat damaged joints New Scientist, 4th September 2021, No. 3350. P15.


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Author: Michael Dermansky

Michael has now been working in physiotherapy for over 20 years, since graduating from Melbourne University in 1998 and is even more passionate about getting the best outcomes for clients than he was then. Michael is always studying and looking for new and innovative ways to improve the service at MD Health, including and not limited to the ideas from the fitness industry and great customer service companies. In his spare moments, he loves spending time with his two children, Sebastian and Alexander and hopefully taking them skiing more and more often.

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