Injuries to the joints are very painful, have serious consequences and require long-term treatment, which, moreover, does not always lead to a complete restoration of the functions of the injured limb. One of the reasons for this is the lack of the possibility of an artificial replacement of the affected cartilage.
Scientists at the University of Michigan managed to develop a Kevlar hydrogel, which in its properties resembles a natural cartilage. It includes Kevlar nanofibers mixed with polyvinyl alcohol, which absorbs water at rest, and when loaded, releases it.
Attempts to create artificial cartilaginous tissues were made before, but failed because they could not retain the necessary amount of water to provide cells with nutrients. In the new material, the proportion of water is between 70 and 92%. In the first case, its strength corresponds to live cartilage, and in the second – rubber.
Scientists intend to patent the received material, and then find a company that will begin to produce it in the required quantities.