JIJITANG2014-11-22 12:56 AM


A lubricant that doesn’t wash away could ease arthritis pain in knees and shoulders , keep artificial joints working smoothly , and even make contact lenses more comfortable .

Biomedical engineers discovered a way to bind the lubricant to a sticky manmade molecule that then essentially locks it in place on the surface of cartilage and eye tissues .

“ What I like about this concept is that we’re mimicking natural functions that are lost , using synthetic materials , ” says Jennifer H. Elisseeff, professor of ophthalmology , biomedical engineering , and materials science at Johns Hopkins University .

Scientists have long known that hyaluronic acid (HA) is abundant in the fluid that surrounds joints like knees , shoulders , and wrists .

HA is an important component for naturally lubricating tissues; one form of the biochemical also reduces inflammation and protects cells from metabolic damage .

Diseased , damaged , or aging joints in hips, knees, shoulders , and elbows often have far lower concentrations of HA , presumably because a protein that binds HA molecules to joint surfaces is no longer able to retain HA where it is needed .

HA injections , a method known as viscosupplementation , have become popular treatments for painful joints . Without a way to retain HA at the site , however , the body’s natural cleaning processes soon wash it away .


For a new study , published online in the journal Nature Materials , Elisseeff looked at molecules known as HA-binding peptides (HABpeps) , which stick to HA .

In the laboratory , using HABpep as a chemical handle , she and her colleagues used a second , synthetic molecule , polyethylene glycol , to tie HA onto surfaces that included natural and artificial cartilage and eye tissue .

Tests on tissues and in animals show that the bound HA didn’t easily wash away . It also reduced friction as successfully as when the tissues were immersed in a bath of unbound HA .

When researchers injected a HABpep designed to attach to cartilage in rat knees , then injected HA, that HA stuck around 12 times as long as it did in rats that hadn’t been given HABpep , suggesting that these peptides could be a promising addition to viscosupplementation .

The HABpep-polymer system could also be useful as an eyedrop solution to improve contact lens comfort and keep damaged eye tissues lubricated .

The National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases , the Arthritis Research Foundation , the Department of Defense , the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation , the Ort Philanthropic Fund , and Research to Prevent Blindness funded the study .

Original Article:

《Enhanced lubrication on tissue and biomaterial surfaces through peptide-mediated binding of hyaluronic acid》, Published on Journal 《NATURE MATERIALS》in August , 2014 .







0 Following 3 Fans 0 Projects 310 Articles


Changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) have resulted in families eating more fruits and vegetable

Read More

In contests drawn from game theory, chimpanzee pairs consistently outperform humans in games that test memory and strategic thinking.A new study, condu

Read More

Publishing is one of the most ballyhooed metrics of scientific careers, and every researcher hates to have a gap in that part of his or her CV. Here’s

Read More

Pornography triggers brain activity in people with compulsive sexual behaviour -- known commonly as sex addiction -- similar to that triggered by drugs

Read More

In a recent survey, academic staff at the University identified the interrelated skills of writing and reasoning as the two most important skills for s

Read More

In a recent survey, academic staff at the University identified the interrelated skills of writing and reasoning as the two most important skills for s

Read More

Reading cautionary tales like The Boy Who Cried Wolf and Pinocchio to little kids might not be the best way to teach them to tell the truth.New researc

Read More

Those flat, glassy solar panels on your neighbor’s roof may be getting a more efficient makeover, thanks to a new class of solar-sensitive nanoparticle

Read More

Physicists have overcome a major challenge in the science of measurement using quantum mechanics. They’ve used multiple detectors to measure photons in

Read More

If you want to slow down long enough to smell the proverbial roses, you might want to move to a neighborhood with fewer drive-thru restaurants, researc

Read More