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A.Engineering Artificial Knee Cartilage

Narrator: This is Science Today. Knowing how the different layers of knee cartilage respond to impact can improve current treatment. By studying this area in great detail, bioengineer Robert Sah of the University of California, San Diego has come up with a mechanical blueprint, which may help researchers design artificial knee cartilage.

Sah: One of the main problems in cartilage repair procedures is the bonding between the implanted tissue and the host tissue. It tends not to fuse well with the surrounding cartilage. One reason might be that the mechanical properties aren't matched too well.

Narrator: Sah says better matches may also someday replace the metal and plastic prostheses used for those with degenerated joints.

Sah: That actually works reasonably well for older people and for those who don't want to be too active. For those who aren't Bo Jackson types that want to play football again. But it does have some limitations in that it will tend to wear out even in more sedentary type people after 10 to 20 years or so.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.