PHILADELPHIA— A new biosealant therapy may help to stabilize injuries that cause cartilage to break down, paving the way for a future fix or – even better – begin working right away with new cells to enhance healing, according to a new animal-based study by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Their research was published in Advanced Healthcare Materials.
“Our research shows that using our hyaluronic acid hydrogel system at least temporarily stops cartilage degeneration that commonly occurs after injury and causes pain in joints,” said the study’s senior author, Robert Mauck, PhD, a professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and the director of Penn Medicine’s McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory. “In addition to pausing cartilage breakdown, we think that applying this therapy can present a surface that is ‘sticky’ for cells, such as stem cells that are routinely injected into joints to counteract injury. This reinforcing hydrogel could actually synergize with those cells to create a long-term solution.