Tiny electrical knee implants could help treat pain of millions of arthritis sufferers

By: | January 19th, 2022

Image Credit: Pixabay

Arthritis is a common and painful disease, affecting millions of people worldwide. More than 350 million people have arthritis globally.

The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the joints wears down over time, which typically worsens with age.

Now, a ground-breaking new treatment that uses electric knee implants could bring relief to millions of arthritis patients.

Scientists have been able to regrow cartilage with the help of electrical currents

A team of bioengineers at the University of Connecticut developed a biodegradable membrane, about half a millimeter thick. The membrane generates electricity when it is compressed and stretched– a property known as piezoelectricity.  This helped in avoiding the need to put batteries inside the body.

So the electric knee implant delivers electric current to the knees and stimulates cartilage regrowth to help combat osteoarthritis.

Regular joint movement by arthritis patients with the implant would cause the implant to generate an electrical field that encourages cells to colonize it and regrow cartilage. 

Rabbits were given the implants for experiments

Scientists were able to regrow cartilage in a rabbit’s knee. Successful clinical trials will also pave the way for healing joints for humans with arthritis in the future. 

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

More articles from Industry Tap...