Biocompatible gel to replace damaged cartilage

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WASHINGTON: Experts in mechanics, materials science and tissue engineering at Harvard have created an extremely stretchable biocompatible gel that could replace damaged cartilage in human joints. Called a hydrogel, because its main ingredient is water, the new material is a hybrid of two weak gels that combine to create something much stronger.

The new gel can stretch upto 21 times its original length and is exceptionally tough, self-healing and biocompatible. "Conventional hydrogels are very weak and brittle, imagine a spoon breaking through jelly,"  said lead author Jeong-Yun Sun, postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the journal Nature reports. IANS

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