Hydrogel Devices that Reduce Friction and Increase Lubrication for Tissue Engineering Applications

Technology #15446

Optimum Mesh Size Controls Elasticity and Permeability of Synthetic Hydrogels to Better Mimic Tissue Such As Cartilage

These synthetic hydrogel devices offer optimum mesh size to reduce friction and increase lubricity in tissue engineering applications. Millions of patients suffer the loss or failure of an organ or tissue by accident or disease, and more than 8 million U.S. citizens undergo surgery as part of their treatment at a cost of $400 billion each year. Tissue and organ transplantations are limited by donor shortages, and tissue engineering is one way to overcome those shortages. Researchers at the University of Florida have explored self-mated Gemini hydrogel interfaces that control the mesh size for increased lubrication and minimized friction. The hydrogel Gemini interfaces can provide exceptionally low friction coefficients, allowing for increased lubrication and comfort.

Application

Hydrogel surfaces with optimized mesh size for tissue engineering

Advantages

  • Optimizes mesh size, reducing friction and enhancing lubrication for better comfort
  • Easily synthesized and molded, offering tunable parameters and physical processes accessible to experiments

Technology

The mesh size of hydrogel surfaces controls the elasticity and permeability of hydrogels, contributing greatly to the mechanical and transport properties of synthetic material. Researchers at the University of Florida have investigated the relationship between the mesh size of hydrogels and the friction coefficient to develop hydrogel Gemini interfaces meant to increase lubricity and significantly reduce the friction. The preparation of these hydrogel surfaces utilizes a hydrogel with at least one surface forming a quasi-Gemini interface adjacent to a tissue-mimicking hydrogel.