16 June 2021
Kevlar bulletproof fiber could be used in knee cartilage replacement surgeries, researchers at the University of Michigan in the US and Jiangnan University in China have stated.
The researchers stated that our human body has “unparalleled strength” despite being 80% water. The researchers have been able to develop a new Kevlar-based material which behaves like normal cartilage. It releases water under stress and recovers it later like a sponge, mirroring the natural tissue. This function is very important for undergoing activities which require repeated strain, such as running or gymming. The researchers add that the synthetic cartilage can be a suitable replacement for areas in the deeper parts of the knee, as it does not harm adjacent cells. The team states that they hope that the new material might find its way into high-impact knee implants.
"We know that we consist mostly of water—all life does—and yet our bodies have a lot of structural stability," said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering at U-M, who led the study. "Understanding cartilage is understanding how life forms can combine properties that are sometimes unthinkable together."
“We have a lot of membranes in the body that require the same properties,” Kotov said. “I will talk to doctors about where the acute need is and where this intersection of the properties will allow us to make best headway and biggest impact."