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Latest Joint Health Research and Developments

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3-D Fabric for Joint Cartilage Repair

A team of researchers from Duke University developed a 3-D fabric scaffold that one day can be used to patch damaged joint cartilage, allowing the patient’s own stem cells to move in and repair the damage. The unique weaving machine designed by the researchers uses the same FDA-approved materials used to make absorbable sutures. The machine adds a third set of fibers in addition to the two dimensional cross weave pattern. The 3-D fabric can be made as thick as needed. The fabric can be molded into the shape of the joint and can cover the entire surface of the joint if necessary. Since the scaffold is woven material, the patient’s own cartilage cells can grow in the tiny spaces. The scaffold eventually dissolves, leaving only strong, new cartilage cells and hopefully, eliminating the need for joint replacement.

Photo: Getty Images

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