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Traumatic joint injuries can result in significant cartilage defects, which can greatly increase the risk of osteoarthritis development. Due to the limited self-healing capacity of avascular cartilage, tissue engineering approaches are required for filling defects and promoting cartilage regeneration. Current approaches utilize invasive surgical procedures for extraction and implantation of autologous chondrocytes; therefore, injectable biomaterials have gained interest to minimize the risk of infection as well as patient pain and discomfort. In this study, we engineered biomimetic, hyaluronic acid (HA)-based cryogel scaffolds that possess shape-memory properties as they contract and regain their shape after syringe injection to noninvasively fill cartilage defects.

 

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