Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A

Artificial cartilage made from a novel double-network hydrogel: In vivo effects on the normal cartilage and ex vivo evaluation of the friction property.

PMID 19768793


This study evaluated the in vivo influence of a poly-(2-Acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid)/poly-(N,N'-dimetyl acrylamide) (PAMPS/PDMAAm) double-network (DN) hydrogel on counterface cartilage in rabbit knee joints and its ex vivo friction properties on normal cartilage. In the first experiment, the DN gel was implanted in a surgically created defect in the femoral trochlea of rabbit knee joints and the left knee was used as the control. Evaluations using a confocal laser scanning microscopy demonstrated that the DN gel did not affect the surface microstructure (surface roughness, the number of small pits) of the counterface cartilage in vivo at 4 and 12 weeks. The histology also showed that the DN gel hadno pathological damage on the cartilage matrices and cells at 4 weeks. However, two of the five DN gel-implanted knees showed mild irregularity on the counterface cartilage surface at 12 weeks. In the second experiment, the friction property between the normal and the artificial cartilage was determined using a joint simulator apparatus. The ex vivo mean friction coefficient of the DN gel to normal cartilage was 0.029, while that of the normal-to-normal cartilage articulation was 0.188. The coefficient of the DN gel-to-normal cartilage articulation was significantly lower than that of the normal-to-normal cartilage articulation (p < 0.0001). This study suggested that the PAMPS/PDMAAm DN gel has very low friction coefficient on normal cartilage and has no significant detrimental effects on counterface cartilage in vivo, and can be a promising material to develop the artificial cartilage.