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IIT-Roorkee develops low-cost osteoarthritis cure

Researchers at IIT, Roorkee, have developed a low-cost method using implants with long-term heat therapy to treat osteoarthritis, a disease that causes pain and stiffness in the joints leading to degeneration of the bone cartilage.

The research paper, published in the Journal for Materials Science (biomaterials), talks about the use of implantable ferromagnetic nanoparticles with thermal properties for hypothermia treatment of the afflicted knee- joints.

Led by Prof. K L Yadav, the head of the physics department at IIT-Roorkee, the team at the institute developed a specific ferrite nanomaterial (a material produced by nanotechnology), which, when embedded with poly (vinylidene fluoride), forms a bio-compatible magnetic-dielectric composition to provide prolonged thermo-regulated treatment.

These polymer-based nanoparticles, injected around the knee-joint under with normal heat therapy, will be able to provide long-term heat therapy for the patient, a press release from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) said.

Currently, osteoarthritis is treated using anti- inflammatory drugs and steroids, which have critical side- effects on patients. Moreover, such treatment cannot inhibit the growth of this degenerative disease, the release said.

Techniques such as knee-replacement are also used, but are expensive and have a long recovery time, it added.

“We wanted to develop an affordable, safe and simple therapeutic technique to inhibit the growth of the disease and enable the patient to recover faster,” Prof. Yadav said.

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