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Duke University researchers have developed a gel-based cartilage substitute

A hydrogel-based implant could replace worn-out cartilage and alleviate knee pain without replacing the entire joint. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Wiley, Duke University.

Duke University researchers have developed a gel-based cartilage substitute to relieve achy knees that’s even stronger and more durable than the real thing. The Duke team’s hydrogel can be pressed and pulled with more force than natural cartilage, and is three times more resistant to wear and tear.

Implants made of the material are currently being developed by Duke Capital Partners portfolio company Sparta Biomedical and tested in sheep. Researchers are gearing up to begin clinical trials in humans next year.

Congratulations to Duke University, Department of Chemistry professor Benjamin WileyDuke University Pratt School of Engineering professors Ken Gall and Matthew Becker, Sparta Bio’s Dushyanth Surakanti and Dimitrios Angelis, JD, and DAN member and Sparta Board member Neil S. Roth, M.D., on this news! Also, congratulations on FDA Breakthrough Device designation!

You can read more about this innovation in the Duke Today publication: