Hyaluronic acid hydrogel in the treatment of osteoarthritis

R. Barbucci, S. Lamponi, A. Borzacchiello, L. Ambrosio, M. Fini, P. Torricelli, R. Giardino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to overcome the problem of rapid clearance of the polysaccharide hyaluronic acid (Hyal) in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA), a 50% cross-linked Hyal hydrogel (Hyal 50%) was synthesised. The 50% refers to the amount of COOH groups of the polysaccharide involved in the cross-linking reaction, i.e. 50% of the total amount. The rheological behaviour of the Hyal 50% hydrogel, and in particular the possibility to inject it through a needle, was studied. The results obtained demonstrated that the hydrogel injected through the needle still behaved like a gel, although it showed a reduction of the dynamic moduli. The most appropriate sterilisation technique for this kind of hydrogel was also evaluated. Liophilised Hyal 50% samples were sterilised by steam, Ethylene Oxide (EtO) and γ-rays. EtO and γ-rays did not modify the characteristics of the hydrogel in terms of swellability and morphology. Lastly, the in vivo effect of Hyal 50% hydrogel in the treatment of chondral defect in rabbit knee was also studied. The results obtained showed the Hyal 50% injections improved chondrocytes density and matrix appearance. Furthermore, the permanence in situ of the hydrogel was longer than that of the linear Hyal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4503-4513
Number of pages11
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


  • Hyaluronan hydrogel
  • In vivo tests
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheological properties
  • Sterilisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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