Individuals suffering from chronic lower back pain can now breathe a sigh of relief. Well, that’s because University of Manchester scientists have introduced a biomaterial implant which in the form of jab can treat chronic back pain. Considered as a common neurological ailment, chronic lower back pain is believed to be triggered by degeneration of the intervertebral disc.
Over the past few years, scientists had been relentlessly trying to develop microgel particles, which are swellable nanoscopic polymer particles. They also suggested that an injectable fluid of these particles can be transformed into a gel. This gel supposedly restored the mechanical properties of damaged model intervertebral discs. In the current investigation, the microgel particles were linked together to form injectable durable, elastic gels that can sustain large permanent changes in shape without breaking.
“Degeneration of the intervertebral disc results in chronic back pain which costs the country billions of pounds per annum and causes untold misery for sufferers and their families. We have been working for 25 years to identify methods for treating degeneration of the intervertebral disc,” quoted Professor Tony Freemont, Head of Research in the School of Biomedicine, and co-author on the paper.
These improved injectable gels may contain much better mechanical properties than the first generation and have the necessary long-term durability required for an implanted device. The newly invented implant jab can purportedly treat degeneration of the intervertebral disc. The research findings apparently have profound implications in the health section.
The research is published in the journal Soft Matter.