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Novel Biomimetic System Repairs Cartilage Defects

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 21 Jul 2021
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Image: Comparison of Hyalex cartilage to a medical polymer (Photo courtesy of Hyalex Orthopaedics)
Image: Comparison of Hyalex cartilage to a medical polymer (Photo courtesy of Hyalex Orthopaedics)
A new implant restores function in orthopaedic patients with loss of knee articular cartilage and bone requiring surgery.

The Hyalex Orthopaedics (Lexington, MA, USA) Cartilage System is an orthopaedic implant designed to mimic the properties of native cartilage. The proprietary material is comprised of a hydrated, interpenetrating dual polymer network based on polyether urethane (PEU), which is engineered to be both hydrophilic (to provide a durable, lubricious, low friction interface with native articular cartilage), and hydrophobic (to optimize fixation to bone using photopolymerizable Hyalex bone cement (HBC).

The synthetic cartilage implant is designed to provide a single-step, off-the-shelf, high strength, low friction, low wear solution for knee cartilage repair. In principle, the material can be made to fit any joint surface in the body, such as the tibial plateau, the femoral head and i acetabulum in the pelvis, and others. The Hyalex Cartilage System has received breakthrough device designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA; Silver Spring, MD, USA).

“Hyalex polymer has the potential to replace damaged cartilage in joints, creating the opportunity for a bone-sparing and more anatomic solution in disease states such as osteoarthritis or cartilage injuries,” said Mira Sahney, President and CEO of Hyalex. “Our goal is to help millions of patients who face limited treatment options for knee pain caused by cartilage lesions be active and stay active.”

“The Hyalex Cartilage System is exciting because its biomimetic material properties create the potential to replace a damaged joint surface, and thereby interrupt the progression of cartilage degeneration,” said Professor Thomas Vail, MD, chair of orthopaedic surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF, USA). “This is a paradigm-changing technology that can be applied across orthopaedics. I'm thrilled to be part of this team and its very bright future.’

Cartilage structures and functions can be damaged due to a variety of causes, such as a bad fall or traumatic sport-accident, previous knee injuries, or wear and tear over time. Unfortunately, articular cartilage does not usually regenerate after injury or disease, leading to loss of tissue and formation of a defect.

Related Links:
Hyalex Orthopaedics
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
University of California, San Francisco

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