Can we repair our bodies with silk? | University of Oxford

Can we repair our bodies with silk?

Yes! Scientists from Oxford have discovered that we can use silk to replace cartilage, meaning joint replacements might become a thing of the past. 

Spiders can weave silk webs that are many times tougher than steel. However they produce tiny quantities, so this company, Orthox are combining silkworm silk with the creative weaving ability of spiders to create a super strong cartilage implant that the immune system won’t reject...it could actually help the body regenerate! They melt the silk down and then form it into a robust sponge that can be moulded into different shapes for use in lots of joints in the body.

Currently surgeons need to replace an entire damaged joint, such as a hip or knee, which is a major, expensive, and painful operation. Only a third of people will take this option, and half of all people with cartilage injuries will develop arthritis. Replacement joints also take as long as 12 months to heal, stopping patients from moving and causing them intense discomfort.

This tech means they can replace a small area of damaged cartilage and get patients quickly back on their feet. 

This tech could help your hips, shoulders, knees and toes...knees and toes.