Follow on: Self assembling biphasic gels and hydrogels for cartilage substitution therapies

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


Over forty percent of the population suffer from degenerative osteoarthritis of hip and knee and in ten percent this can result in the need for joint replacement. Articular cartilage has unique intrinsic biphasic lubrication properties. We have recently developed a novel joint simulation system for the medial compartment of the natural knee, and have shown the importance of the biphasic surface amorphous layer in articular cartilage on the reduction of friction and wear. We have shown a reduction in friction with simple geometry cartilage specimens using patented self assembling peptide (SAP) gels. In parallel, and in collaboration with an industrial partner, we have also shown the frictional advantage of a biphasic synthetic hydrogel in comparison with single phase polymer biomaterials.In this follow on fund application we intend to converge these three pieces of basic research and use our unique natural knee simulation system to evaluate the longer term performance of patented SAPs as potential injectable therapeutic lubricants for low grade cartilage degeneration. Additionally we will combine the SAPs with the synthetic biphasic hydrogels and evaluate the enhanced tribological performance in comparison with existing cartilage substitution biomaterials. Market potential and business opportunities will be evaluated and developed by the University technology transfer partners IP2IPO, BITECIC and industrial collaborator.


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Bell CJ (2006) Self-assembling peptides as injectable lubricants for osteoarthritis. in Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A

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Bell CJ (2006) Influence of hyaluronic acid on the time-dependent friction response of articular cartilage under different conditions. in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part H, Journal of engineering in medicine

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E Northwood (2007) Investigation of the friction and surface degradation of innovative chondroplasty materials against articular cart in Proceedings Institution of Mechanical Engineers, journal of engineering in medicine

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Graindorge S (2006) The role of the surface amorphous layer of articular cartilage in joint lubrication. in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part H, Journal of engineering in medicine

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Katta J (2007) Effect of load variation on the friction properties of articular cartilage in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology

Description Characterisation of new materials
Exploitation Route taken forward into a programme grant and WELMEC
Sectors Healthcare

Description applications in cartilage substitution and in spinal disc nucleus repaair
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Healthcare
Description BITECIC Ltd 
Organisation BITECIC Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
Description Depuy C M W 
Organisation DePuy Synthes
Country United States 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006