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China develops highly applicable artificial joint cartilage

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Chinese scientists have successfully developed a lubricant-like mixture of cartilage. Artwork:

Cartilage – the soft material that acts as a cushion between joints – is responsible for keeping the ends of bones from wearing together and helping us to move more easily. Natural articular cartilage shows extraordinary biological performance based on their surface-lubricated biomolecules and good mechanical resistance. However, natural articular cartilage can be damaged by age, disease or injury and needs replacement to maintain mobility.

At present, hydrogel is considered as a potential alternative to natural cartilage, due to its low surface friction and good biocompatibility, but hydrogel does not have sufficient strength and mechanical strength. , thereby reducing applicability.

Inspired by the excellent mechanical properties and superior surface lubrication of natural joint cushions, researchers from the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics (Chinese Academy of Sciences) have developed a lubricating two-layer composite that exhibits excellent mechanical resistance and a unique stress-dissipating mechanism. In the top lubricating layer, this blend shows outstanding friction-reducing function and resistance to wear during mechanical movement.

According to the scientists, this new material design idea is expected to be applied in the fields of bio-lubrication and soft robotics – a subset of robotics that focuses on technologies that closely resemble physical properties. physiology of living organisms.

Experts describe soft robotics as a form of biology in which the traditional and somewhat rigid aspects of robotics are replaced by much more complex models that mimic the lives of people, animals, and humans. plant.

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