Cartilage Repair Gel Gives Injuries a Sporting Chance
12 March 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 biomaterial that can be used to repair damaged cartilage, in particular knee injuries.
Work has just commenced on an injectable hybrid-hydrogel that mimics chondrocytes, the cells that are found in cartilage.
The two Chief Investigators are Professor Tony Weiss from the School of Molecular Bioscience and Associate Professor Fariba Dehghani from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Professor Tony Weiss 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."
Professor Fariba Dehghani 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.
Sports injuries similar to those affecting cricketers or rugby league and soccer players for example could potentially be permanently repaired by the tissue engineering techniques being developed by the team.
The research team's work has been supported by a 2012 Australian Research Council grant.