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The first hydrogel that has mechanical properties of cartilage


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A material that is a match to the cartilage found in our bodies, finally developed.

"We set out to make the first hydrogel that has the mechanical properties of cartilage."

More than 790,000 knee replacements happen in the US every year.

The main ingredients in this new material are water-absorbing polymers.

The hydrogel passed with top marks in stretching and squishing categories.

Also showed better performance than other existing hydrogels.

In one test of 100,000 repeated pulls, the artificial cartilage held up well.

Similarly well as the porous titanium material used in bone implants.

It was shown to be just as resistant to wear and tear also.

So far the non-toxicity of the hydrogel has only been tested against lab-grown cells.

This might one day be able to restore a joint to full working order.

Researchers from Duke University, published in Advanced Functional Materials.

Could someday replace just the damaged cartilage, instead of having to remove entire knee joint

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Scientific journal covering materials science.


Professor of Chemistry, Duke University


Private research university in Durham, North Carolina


Materials Scientist, Duke University