Cartilage repair gel gives injuries a sporting chance

March 8, 2012

A cartilage gel being developed by tissue engineers and biochemists at the University of Sydney could bring increased mobility to people living with debilitating sports injuries.

The researchers have joined forces to fast track the development of a new that can be used to repair damaged cartilage, in particular .

Work has just commenced on an injectable hybrid-hydrogel that mimics chondrocytes, the cells that are found in cartilage.

Chief investigator on the project, Associate Professor Fariba Dehghani, from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, says the team is targeting these cells because they are responsible for producing and maintaining the structure of cartilage but until now have been extremely hard to repair when damaged.

"Tissue engineering is an emerging science that consists of growing living cells into 3D scaffolds to form whole tissues capable of normal functions," says Professor Dehghani.

"We intend to generate a new family of hybrid biomaterials constructed by precisely blending natural and synthetic components.

"The novel biomaterials that we are developing will establish a foundation for manufactured prefabrication and in situ injections which will promote rapid and targeted healing to the affected region," says Professor Dehghani.

Sports injuries similar to those affecting cricketers or rugby league and soccer players for example could potentially be permanently repaired by the techniques being developed by the team, says Professor Dehghani.

Also working on the project is molecular researcher and co-Chief investigator Professor Tony Weiss from the University's School of , who says:

"When we refine it, this technology has the potential to be used to rebuild other cartilage in many places in the human body, areas that are adversely affected by ageing and disease."

"This is an extremely exciting time for scientists. Our multidisciplinary approach to research gives us the opportunity to blend the best of our skills."

"It promises more rapid advancement of our knowledge and by working together we can accelerate the development of therapies for injuries which in the past many of us have just had to live with," says Professor Weiss.

Explore further: Progress in tissue engineering to repair joint damage in osteoarthritis

Related Stories

Progress in tissue engineering to repair joint damage in osteoarthritis

June 8, 2011
Medical scientists now have "clear" evidence that the damaged cartilage tissue in osteoarthritis and other painful joint disorders can be encouraged to regrow and regenerate, and are developing tissue engineering technology ...

Recommended for you

Want to win at sports? Take a cue from these mighty mice

July 20, 2017
As student athletes hit training fields this summer to gain the competitive edge, a new study shows how the experiences of a tiny mouse can put them on the path to winning.

'Smart' robot technology could give stroke rehab a boost

July 19, 2017
Scientists say they have developed a "smart" robotic harness that might make it easier for people to learn to walk again after a stroke or spinal cord injury.

Engineered liver tissue expands after transplant

July 19, 2017
Many diseases, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, can lead to liver failure. More than 17,000 Americans suffering from these diseases are now waiting for liver transplants, but significantly fewer livers are available.

Lunatic Fringe gene plays key role in the renewable brain

July 19, 2017
The discovery that the brain can generate new cells - about 700 new neurons each day - has triggered investigations to uncover how this process is regulated. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Jan and Dan Duncan ...

New animal models for hepatitis C could pave the way for a vaccine

July 19, 2017
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of hepatitis C—a disease that affects nearly 71 million people worldwide, causing cirrhosis and liver cancer if left untreated—it might be worth ...

Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids

July 18, 2017
Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for some of its ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.