Stanford: Research on Cartilage-Healing Hydrogel

It has the texture of Jell-O and it shows promise in being used in a simple low-cost procedure to help jump-start cartilage growth and reduce pain

By Marianne Favro
|  Monday, Jan 14, 2013  |  Updated 8:34 PM PDT
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Stanford researchers are working on a hydrogel that may help mend damaged cartilage. It has the texture of Jell-O and it shows promise in being used in a simple low-cost procedure to help jump-start cartilage growth and  reduce pain, NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro reports.

Stanford researchers are working on a hydrogel that may help mend damaged cartilage. It has the texture of Jell-O and it shows promise in being used in a simple low-cost procedure to help jump-start cartilage growth and reduce pain, NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro reports.

Runners, listen up. Stanford researchers are working on a hydrogel that may help mend damaged cartilage.

It has the texture of Jell-O and it shows promise in being used in a simple low-cost procedure to help jump-start cartilage growth and  reduce pain.

Garry Gold, a Stanford University professor, authored a recent study in the Journal Science Translational Medicine, and tested the new procedure.

Cartilage acts as a cushion between bones, allowing them to glide past each other, but if a person becomes injured that can create tiny holes in the cartilage and cause pain.

The hyrdogel creates a scaffold for the blood and stem cells from the bone marrow to cling  to as they grow into healthy new cartilage.  After six months, Gold's research found patients treated with hydrogel had less pain and more healthy cartilage filled the hole compared to the traditional approach.

Patients also reported pain relief. It is administered to the patient during a process called microfracture. Surgeons drill tiny holes into the bone  in the spot where the cartilage is missing.

If further studies indicate this is successful, it would need to be tested on a larger group of patients and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
 

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