Protective coating layer to reduce wear-related knee joint pain: AO-supported injectables could transform the treatment of knee osteoarthritis
Due to the lack of available curative therapies, the current standard of care focuses on pain management, including NSAIDs and intraarticular injections of hyaluronate-based viscosupplementation.
“These materials showed extremely low friction and wear. We were able to measure, as far as I know, the lowest shear forces ever measured under high pressures between articulating surfaces covered with these materials,” Goldberg said. “So, it was a real discovery.”
The Institute filed a first patent detailing the use of specific liposomes to reduce friction in 2010—with Goldberg among the coinventors—and, eventually, six more related patents. Goldberg explained that she and her Weizmann Institute of Science colleague—physicist Sabrina Jahn, PhD—successfully negotiated the right to commercialize the technology and cofounded their start-up, Liposphere, in early 2019.
“With increasing longevity, there is a need to find an efficient treatment for OA patients and postpone the surgery to avoid more than one knee replacement procedure.”
Ronit Goldberg, PhD
It is important to collaborate with experts in the orthopedic field to bring their insights, Goldberg said. It was cofounder Jahn’s connection to AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) Vice Director Mauro Alini, PhD, who recommended that Liposphere submit a project to the AO’s Development Incubator.
The AO is supporting Liposphere with ex vivo investigations at ARI to study AqueousJoint’s mechanical properties and a sheep study—also at ARI—to investigate the performance of the product. Additionally, the AO provides support to establish a quality management system and technical documentation for Liposphere’s orthopedic product.
Following a 150-patient clinical study that is now underway, upscaling of AqueousJoint production, and filing for a CE mark, the product could be available to surgeons—and patients—in 2025.
You might be also interested in:
- Learn how AO's innovation funding is assisting surgeons around the world in easily and precisely analyzing and classifying pelvic ring fractures
- Read how the AO's Development Incubator is supporting a new concept to prevent proximal junctional kyphosis
- Discover the power of AO's innovation and collaboration through the CE-marked Biphasic Plate DF (Distal Femur)