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Top Story

Kevlar-based artificial cartilage mimics the magic of the real thing

The unparalleled liquid strength of cartilage, which is about 80 percent water, withstands some of the toughest forces on our bodies. Synthetic materials couldn't match it -- until now. A new Kevlar-based hydrogel recreates the magic of cartilage by combining a network of tough nanofibers from Kevlar -- the "aramid" fibers best known for making bulletproof vests -- with a material commonly used in hydrogel cartilage replacements, called polyvinyl alcohol, or PVA. Many people with joint injuries would benefit from a good replacement for cartilage, such as the 850,000 patients in the U.S. who undergo surgeries removing or replacing cartilage in the knee.

Visit Website | Image credit: Joseph Xu/University of Michigan Engineering