Boston, May 3 (IANS) Scientists have created a synthetic polymer that functions as a joint lubricant aimed at providing relief to arthritis patients, says a study.
A team of researchers led by a Boston University Biomedical Engineer has developed a new joint lubricant that could bring longer lasting relief to millions of osteoarthritis sufferers.
The new synthetic polymer supplements synovial fluid, the natural lubricant in joints, and works better than comparable treatments currently available.
According to Professor Mark W. Grinstaff (BME, MSE, Chemistry), the best fluid supplement now available offers temporary symptom relief but provides inadequate lubrication to prevent further degradation of the cartilage surfaces that cushion the joint.
To achieve both objectives, Grinstaff, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School orthopedic surgeon Brian Snyder and a team of Boston University chemistry and engineering students, fellows and clinicians have advanced the first synthetic synovial fluid, reports Science Daily.
They describe the unique polymer and its performance in Journal of the American Chemical Society.
“From our studies, we know our biopolymer is a superior lubricant in the joint, much better than the leading synovial fluid supplement, and similar to healthy synovial fluid,” said Grinstaff. “When we used this new polymer, the friction between the two cartilage surfaces was lower, resulting in less wear and surface-to-surface interaction. It’s like oil for the joints.”
— Indo Asian News Service