Synthesis of a novel photopolymerized nanocomposite hydrogel for treatment of acute mechanical damage to cartilage

TitleSynthesis of a novel photopolymerized nanocomposite hydrogel for treatment of acute mechanical damage to cartilage
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSchlichting KE, Copeland-Johnson TM, Goodman M, Lipert RJ, Prozorov T, Liu XP, McKinley TO, Lin ZQ, Martin JA, Mallapragada SK
Journal TitleActa Biomaterialia
Date Published08
ISBN Number1742-7061
Accession NumberWOS:000293259500010

Intra-articular fractures initiate a cascade of pathobiological and pathomechanical events that culminate in post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). Hallmark features of PTOA include destruction of the cartilage matrix in combination with loss of chondrocytes and acute mechanical damage (AMD). Currently, treatment of intra-articular fractures essentially focuses completely on restoration of the macroanatomy of the joint. However, current treatment ignores AMD sustained by cartilage at the time of injury. We are exploring aggressive biomaterial-based interventions designed to treat the primary pathological components of AMD. This study describes the development of a novel injectable co-polymer solution that forms a gel at physiological temperatures that can be photocrosslinked, and can form a nanocomposite gel in situ through mineralization. The injectable co-polymer solution will allow the material to fill cracks in the cartilage after trauma. The mechanical properties of the nanocomposite are similar to those of native cartilage, as measured by compressive and shear testing. It thereby has the potential to mechanically stabilize and restore local structural integrity to acutely injured cartilage. Additionally, in situ mineralization ensures good adhesion between the biomaterial and cartilage at the interface, as measured through tensile and shear testing. Thus we have successfully developed a new injectable co-polymer which forms a nanocomposite in situ with mechanical properties similar to those of native cartilage, and which can bond well to native cartilage. This material has the potential to stabilize injured cartilage and prevent PTOA. (C) 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.