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Osteoarthritis Research Papers

Decent Essays
“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you” (Unknown). Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the cartilage cushioning the joints breaks down and causes the bones to rub together, inducing a change in shape. Not only is osteoarthritis a leading cause of disability in people over 50 years of age, it is the most common form of degenerative joint disease. It can be a very debilitating form of arthritis in that it tends to affect the load-bearing joints, especially the hips and knees, that are crucial for normal movement. There are currently 27 million Americans living with osteoarthritis, all of whom have to decide between conservative or aggressive treatment.…show more content…
The BioPen allows surgeons to repair damaged bone and cartilage by “drawing” new cells directly onto bone in the middle of surgery. The pen has a bio-ink comprised of stem cells inside a biopolymer such as alginate (a seaweed extract) which is in turn protected by a second layer of hydrogel. Once on the bone surface, the ink is hardened using a UV light embedded in the pen. Once they are drawn onto the bone, they will proliferate in the patient’s body, differentiating into nerve, muscle and bone cells and eventually being established as tissue. The technique could reform how surgeons repair cartilage. For certain types of injuries, it’s difficult for surgeons to discern the exact shape of the area requiring an implant, making it tricky to design an artificial cartilage implant before surgery. With the BioPen, surgeons could simply use the hydrogel solution to fill in the damaged area. The cell solution could also be further customized by adding drugs to boost healing and regrowth. Hopefully, these type of innovations can change patients from being defined by their pain to being able to live healthier lives. Although patients with OA experience joint pain and stiffness, it is important that they maintain lifestyles that will strengthen muscles around the joint. Aerobic and resistance training can aid these symptoms. Fortunately, scientists are currently working to fix the crux of the issue by directly regenerating cartilage that can integrate within the body and establish a secure matrix. Perhaps in the future, osteoarthritis will cease to be a certainty in life and merely act as precaution to respect the limits of our
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