New sports injury hope

Lucy Bosworth

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    RESEARCH by a Manchester student could speed up the recovery of injured sport stars.Lucy Bosworth, of Manchester University School of Materials, has developed an artificial tendon she believes can cut the recovery time of up to eight weeks.Golfer Luke Donald, Manchester City footballer Valeri Bojinov and Sale Sharks Rugby Union player Sebastien Bruno have all been recently sidelined by tendon injuries.GraftedLucy, 28, has developed a way of spinning biodegradable nanofibres into a fabric that could be grafted on to an injury site, where it encourages the injured tendon to grow and repair, before safely degrading.Currently, patients face a tendon graft from another part of the body or completely resting the injury for weeks.Grafting a tendon from elsewhere creates a second site that needs to heal - and enforced rest can be unpopular with athletes.Lucy will soon start pre-clinical research and believes the tendons could be used in hospitals in less than three years."Tendons have a poor healing response," she said."A tendon graft creates two injury sites, or a graft from someone else carries a chance of rejection.Surgery"But with ours, it would be a one-off surgery. You could even have it as a support mechanism before a tendon was to rupture."Football and rugby players have a lot of tendon injuries and they don't want to be sitting around for six weeks waiting for it to heal."The virtual research centre RegeNer8 has given a ??50,000 grant to the university so Lucy can continue her research.Prof Sandra Downes, from the School of Materials, said: "This is a major breakthrough and a major achievement for a PhD student to come up with something so significant."
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalManchester Evening News
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2009


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