Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Injectable Cartilage

PostedSeptember 9, 2005

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Cartilage is the tough white tissue that lubricates your joints.  If damaged through injury or disease, it won't grow back.  Surgery—even joint replacement—is your only option to avoid life-long pain.  Jennifer Elisseeff, a biomedical engineer at Johns Hopkins, hopes to replace cartilage with a simple injection into the problem area.  The shot recipe combines adult stem cells with a chemical engineered to harden in place when exposed to light.  Another ingredient would then coax the cells to grow there as new cartilage.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

Researchers stress that use of this technique is still years away, but think it also has potential as an early treatment for arthritis.  To find out more about this, and other "Innovative Engineering" stories, go to and look under "Features."