Injectable Hydrogels for Cartilage Regeneration
Articular cartilage injuries have a limited potential to heal, which over time, may lead to osteoarthritis, an inflammatory and degenerative joint disease associated with activity-related pain, swelling, and impaired mobility. Regeneration and restoration of joint tissue and function remain unmet challenges. Intra-articular injections of therapeutic agents are effective to some extent, but often require multiple injections. In the past decade, injectable hydrogels have emerged as promising biomaterials, due largely to their biocompatibility, tissue extracellular matrix (ECM) mimicry, excellent permeability, and easy adaptation for minimal-invasive procedures. Moreover, hydrogels can be designed as carriers for sustained release of therapeutic agents and protective matrices for cell delivery. This chapter provides an overview of the injectable hydrogel systems currently being applied together with therapeutic drug delivery and/or cell therapy for treatment of cartilage lesions and osteoarthritis.
KeywordsHydrogels Stem cells Drug delivery Tissue regeneration
This work was supported by National University of Singapore, National University Healthcare System, Ministry of Education, and Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore.
The author indicates no potential conflict of interest.
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