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Nanotechnology helps cartilage grow

The smooth, white connective tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together to form joints is the Type II collagen which is the major protein in articular cartilage. Countless people like athletes, people with injured and damaged cartilage and old people whose joints have just worn out suffer from osteoarthritis and approach orthopedic surgeon for remedy. But damaged cartilage can lead to joint pain and loss of physical function and eventually to osteoarthritis, a disorder with an economic importance. But the problem is unlike bone, cartilage does not grow back for repairing the damage and presently no way to recover back. Also cartilage does not regenerate and stops its growth in adults. But a new nanomaterial enables cartilage to do what it doesn’t do naturally. Northwestern University researchers have developed a bioactive nanomaterial that promotes the growth of new cartilage in vivo and without the use of expensive growth factors. Minimally invasive, the therapy activates the bone marrow stem cells and produces natural cartilage which a conventional therapy can not do.

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