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Monday, February 25, 2008

Israeli Med: Cartilage Regeneration For Those Bad Knees

(Image Credit: Sharon Kanon / Regentis Biomaterial)

Whether you are a simple jogger or a sports fanatice, injured knees are no laughing matter. Especially if one happens to damage the cartilage, which can be a "show stopper" for many active people in life.

Fortunately it seems as if an Israeli company has come up with a unique way to rejuvenate damaged cartilage without involving major operations or a "larger than life" dent in ones wallet.

(Israel 21st Century) Israeli company Regentis Biomaterials has developed an innovative biosynthetic hydrogel plug-in, called Gelrin, which promises to stimulate tissue regeneration. The hybrid material, which has undergone pre-clinical trials, looks a little like a jellybean, and can be placed in situ in the knee to help cartilage regeneration and seamlessly integrate new cartilage with the surrounding environment.

The patented platform technology could be a medical breakthrough, and while the company's first application is for cartilage regeneration, it is also suitable for other regenerative processes, such as bone repair and spinal fusion. [...]

Synchronized tissue regeneration and biodegradation is the key to Gelrin's innovation. "During production of Gelrin, the structure is engineered to degrade away," explains Tal. "Degradation is synchronized with the growth rate of new tissue. We improve on nature, which lacks a control system. More PEG slows the biodegradation process and gives the cells time to properly heal the injured tissue."

What makes this technology really innovative is that this "jellybean" can either be placed in the injured area, or injected via liquid form to fill in a cavity. This will not only help out patients with busy schedules, but also help cut down costs to treating this fairly common problem.

Unfortunately this technology is still in clinical trials, although Regentis Biomaterials CEO, Yehiel Tal, expects this product to launch within the medial market in about two years.

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