In laboratory tests, it was confirmed that when the hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel was compressed, encapsulated drugs that had been mixed into it were discharged into the surrounding environment
Lead scientist Xinqiao Jia works with the gel
People suffering from joint problems such as osteoarthritis tend to take a lot of anti-inflammatory drugs, even though such medications affect their whole body, all of the time. Scientists at the University of Delaware, however, are developing what could be a more effective alternative. It's a hydrogel that can be injected into the joint, and it releases medication only in response to mechanical force – in other words, whenever the joint is used.
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