Better Synthetic Cartilage

From ScienceDaily: "Until now, creating synthetic cartilage was complex but not impossible. The problem was that it was impossible to imitate the perfection of human cartilage due to the difficulty in orienting the collagen nanofibers [in] a particular configuration: in parallel, in a circle, or crossed. The fibers that form the cartilage that protects the knee are aligned in parallel. ... [Researchers have now] achieved this using the electrospinning method. ... collagen nanofibers are obtained by exposing the collagen to electrical discharges. The collagen is extruded, in the form of a nanofiber thread, through a fine needle and is deposited on an electric collector consisting of two grounded plates. The student placed a nonconductive material between the two conducting plates. The nanofibers aligned on top of each other perfectly in parallel lines between the two conducting plates." Innovations in engineering the simpler forms of human tissue have been arriving more rapidly of late - more scientists are involved, the tools are improving, and the cost of research is falling. This is all groundwork for the next decade and tissue engineering of complex replacement organs.

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081113075959.htm

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