UAH professor researching stronger knee joint repair

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Dr. Anuradha Subramanian

Dr. Anuradha Subramanian, chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering, is developing new cartilage regeneration techniques using ultrasound.(Michael Mercier/UAH).

Researchers at UAH are working on making it easier to repair injured knees. UAH received a two-year grant to study the possibility of ultrasound being used to repair cartilage.

With the research, it may soon be possible to regrow post-operative cartilage in joints.

Knee repairs today use stem cell and grafting techniques which can create weaker bonding between the new and existing cartilage after surgery.

UAH professor, Dr. Anu Subramanian, started studying how cells respond to stress and came across how ultrasound interact with cells. From this discovery, Professor Subramanian says it’s possible to combat the loss of cartilage by using low intensity pulsed ultrasound.

The goal of the study is to make joint repair stronger and avoid re-injury.

“Once the surgeon makes the operation, the ultrasound can come in and it can enhance the outcome because ultrasound can reach the site and can act as a booster or stimulator to enhance the repair,” said Dr. Subramanian.

Researchers are currently in the computer modeling stage. The next step is making sure it’ll work on rabbit and sheep knees.

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