Injectable Joint Lubricant for Treating Osteoarthritis

Market Overview:

This dextran-based hydrogel uses phospholipid delivery to treat degenerative joint diseases, also known as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting over 27 million Americans over the age of 25. It becomes more common with age, often affecting the neck, lower back, knees, and hips. Normally synovial fluid, a natural aqueous lubricating liquid, is present in joints which reduces friction between joint surfaces. In the case of osteoarthritis, however, the natural lubricating fluid is abnormally low – resulting in pain or discomfort caused by cartilage deterioration from too much friction. Clemson University researchers have developed an easily injectable dextran-based hydrogel which provides lubrication to joints. The low viscosity of this material allows for injections of a small amount of material while offering long-term lubrication. In comparison to the currently used Hyaluronic acid-based viscosupplementation, this material degrades slower for longer-lasting results.


Application                                                                        Stage of Development

Degenerative joint diseases; Biomedical                            In vivo tested completed



• Delivers a slow-degrading and ultra-lubricating compound, restoring healthy joint function and alleviating pain

• Uses low viscosity material, allowing for injections that offer long-term lubrication

• Utilizes dextran which is derived from natural sugars, limiting potential allergic reactions


Technical Summary

The dextran-based hydrogel uses as a phospholipid delivery system to provide medical lubrication, specifically synovial joint viscosupplementation. The approach utilizes a group of injectable phospholipids, dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC). This composition provides an easily injectable gel to provide lubrication in both natural and artificial joints of humans and animals. In vivo testing of articular cartilage in rabbits have been conducted.


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Inventors:                       Martine Laberge, Gary Lickfield, Julie-Anne Burdick

Patent Type:                   Utility; Divisional

Patent Number:              6,800,298; 7,867,985

CURF Ref:                      00-001

Patent Information:
Biomedical Sciences
For Information, Contact:
Admin Clemson University
Inteum Hosted Admin
Clemson University Research Foundation
Julie-Ann Burdick
Martine Laberge
Gary Lickfield
Biomaterials - Other
Drugs/Pharma - Drug Delivery
Medical Device
Tissue Engineering
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