Swansea University scientists Dr Ilyas Khan and Dr Lewis Francis are at the forefront of worldwide research in trying to understand how to heal osteoarthritic joints.
Work by both lecturers from the University's Centre of Nanohealth, sponsored by Arthritis Research UK has shown the progress of disease, which is the number one cause of physical disability in the world, can potentially be stopped, and even reversed.
When cartilage in our knees or hips become osteoarthritic, they become softer making it unable to carry the same load, and this leads to progressive loss of cartilage.
According to the research the condition can be reversed by using a specific combination of growth factors that cause the cartilage to become stiffer as well as grow back.
Increased participation in sports particularly of the extreme variety means more younger patients are appearing in the waiting rooms of orthopaedic surgeons.
The aim of their research is to repair and regenerate damaged joints of younger patients so that they do not require joint replacement surgery until later in life, if indeed at all.