Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee have claimed they have developed a new, low-cost method for treating osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that leads to loss of bone cartilage and eventual inflammation of bone and joints. The research, published in the Journal of Materials Science, talks about the use of implantable ferromagnetic nanoparticles with thermal properties for hyperthermia treatment of the afflicted knee joints.
Led by Prof KL Yadav, the team developed a specific ferrite nanomaterial, which when embedded with polyvinylidene fluoride matrix is proposed as the biocompatible magnetic-dielectric composite to provide prolonged thermo-regulated treatment.
The study proposed that the synthesised material in a liquid form may be injected into the affected knee joint, and once the liquid is inserted, hyperthermia treatment through electromagnetic radiation can be given on the specific area at regular intervals. The heat generated during this process by nanoparticles will spread over the afflicted area for a longer duration without affecting nearby cells. This will lead to focused treatment in the area where the therapy is required.
Talking about the research, Prof Yadav, who is the head of Physics Department at IIT Roorkee, said, “Currently, the treatment of osteoarthritis is done using anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids, which have critical side-effects. Also, the treatment using such drugs cannot inhibit the natural progression of this degenerative disease. While techniques like knee replacement are available, they are expensive and have a long recovery time. We wanted to develop a low-cost, affordable, safe and simple therapeutic technique to inhibit the progression of the disease and enable the patient to recover faster.”
(The published research can be accessed here: http://goo.gl/oxv3pi)