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Engineering of Viscosupplement Biomaterials for Treatment of Osteoarthritis: A Comprehensive Review

A viscosupplement is a specific fluid designed to restore the rheological properties of the synovial fluid, creating analgesic, anti?inflammatory, chondroprotective, and mechanical impacts frequently used for local treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). This review highlights the recently developed and tested products in pre?and clinical trials for OA treatment, covering the most promising products and their main features.Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive degenerative disease that causes severe pain and functional limitation, especially during locomotion. It is the most common arthritis type that damages the surface of articular cartilage until the underlying bone. In the past decade, the scientific community has made a considerable effort to improve or discover therapeutical products used as a form of conservative treatment capable of restoring the damaged articular tissue, avoiding, as far as possible, the use of surgical practices. The most common and direct nonoperative application available for OA treatment is the viscosupplementation (VS) procedure that demonstrates a safe, effective method and is less painful for the patients. The most recent works dealing with the design, development, and validation of viscosupplement products in preclinical and clinical trials for OA treatment are overviewed herein. In general, despite the development of new products, hyaluronic acid continues to be among the most reported intra?articular viscosupplement products used in clinical trials, typically used as an isolated product or conjugated with other biologicals or drugs, such as platelet?rich plasma and corticosteroids (CS). However, this issue is still demanding innovation. Approaches comprising new biomaterials as VS products, with intrinsic bioactivity, economical, and environmental friendliness, are required.

Publication date: 16/03/2022

Author: Cristiana Gonçalves, Duarte Nuno Carvalho, Tiago H. Silva, Rui L. Reis, J. Miguel Oliveira

Advanced Engineering Materials


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.