Macromolecular bioscience

A novel double-network hydrogel induces spontaneous articular cartilage regeneration in vivo in a large osteochondral defect.

PMID 19031389


We have developed a novel method to induce spontaneous hyaline cartilage regeneration in vivo for a large osteochondral defect by implanting a plug made from a double-network hydrogel composed of poly(2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid) and poly(N,N'-dimethylacrylamide) at the bottom of the defect, leaving the cavity vacant. In cells regenerated in the treated defect, type-2 collagen, Aggrican, and SOX9 mRNAs were highly expressed and the regenerated matrix was rich in proteoglycan and type-2 collagen at 4 weeks. This fact gave a significant modification to the commonly established concept that hyaline cartilage tissue cannot regenerate in vivo. This study prompted an innovative strategy in the field of joint surgery to repair an osteochondral defect using an advanced, high-function hydrogel.