Knee cartilage is a natural phenomenon that has proven difficult to recreate in a lab. Until now, that is. A recent Science Alert article noted that a team of researchers at Duke University has developed a hydrogel material that is strong enough to match the natural cartilage found in our bodies, and it can be used to replace damaged or aged cartilage.
More than 790,000 knee replacement procedures are conducted in the U.S. each year. Typically this involves an invasive surgery, and the prosthetic only lasts a couple decades before it needs to be replaced again. The new hydrogel consists of water-absorbing polymers that create a material that can be stretched and restore its shape. The research can be seen here.