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Radiation 'toughens prosthetic joints'

Radiation 'toughens prosthetic joints'
23rd September 2011

A new discovery could improve quality of life for people with prosthetic joints, many of whom are likely to be using assisted living.

Scientists found that a blast of gamma radiation could strengthen plastic joints so they could last for years, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology.

Maoquan Xue of the Changzhou Institute of Light Industry Technology, found that adding ceramic particles and fibres to prosthetic joints and then blasting them with a short burst of gamma-ray radiation dramatically increased the toughness of the material.

In other news, treatment with glucocoticoids could prevent long-term damage to joints, potentially staving off osteoarthritis in later life.

Short term treatment of damaged cartilage with glucocoticoids could lessen the chain of degenerative changes, which can eventually lead to osteoarthritis.

Glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX) was seen to reduce the loss of GAG and restore proteoglycan synthesis levels to normal, according to the study published in journal Arthritis Research & Therapy.

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