The unique molecule at the heart of our products
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that is found throughout the human body, with the highest concentrations found in the joints, skin, tendons, and eyes. It is a glycosaminoglycan, a type of molecule composed of sugars, that plays a vital role in maintaining the structural integrity and hydration of tissues.
Hyaluronic acid’s hydrating properties are attributed to its ability to strongly bind to water. Another notable property of hyaluronic acid is its excellent viscoelasticity — a combination of elastic and viscous behaviour.
These hydrating and viscoelastic properties make it useful for a range of functions across different tissues in the human body. In the skin, it helps to keep the skin firm, hydrated and elastic. In the eyes, it helps to maintain the gel-like consistency of the vitreous humour by stabilising the collagen network and retaining water; its viscoelasticity in the vitreous acts to absorb shocks, protecting the retina and the lens.1 In the joints, it acts as a shock absorber and a lubricant to support smooth joint movement.
Hyaluronic acid applications
Because of its unique properties, hyaluronic acid is commonly used in both aesthetic and medical applications, including rheumatology, ophthalmology, and dermatology. For these uses, the sodium salt form of hyaluronic acid — sodium hyaluronate — is typically used. Both molecules share similar properties, however, sodium hyaluronate is preferred for use in medical applications due to its high solubility in water and physiological pH. Sometimes the terms hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate may be used interchangeably.
In rheumatology, sodium hyaluronate has multiple applications. It is an effective treatment for relieving joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. Its use can improve joint function2,3 and prolong the time before patients require joint surgery4. It is also used to aid tissue repair in tendinopathies — speeding up the recovery process5 and reducing tendon pain6. Sodium hyaluronate can also be used to replace the synovial fluid in the joint following joint surgery, aiding post-surgery recovery7,8.
In ophthalmology, sodium hyaluronate is an effective treatment for dry eye syndrome9. It acts to soothe dry eyes and reduce the symptoms of dryness, itchiness, and burning sensation10. In ophthalmic surgeries such as cataract and glaucoma surgery, a more concentrated sodium hyaluronate solution with gel-like properties is used as an adjuvant. It is commonly injected into the anterior chamber of the eye during surgery to maintain good visibility, facilitate the insertion of surgical instruments, and protect delicate tissues from damage11. Its application on the surface of the eye also helps to maintain corneal hydration, preventing dryness and reducing the risk of damage to the cornea12.
In dermatology and aesthetic medicine, sodium hyaluronate is often used as a dermal filler to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and to increase skin hydration. Aesthetic injections can also be performed in deeper layers, as a large volume filling device, such as to restore firmness and volume to the face and lips13.
TRB Chemedica: pioneers in the development of hyaluronic-acid treatments
Founded in 1980, TRB Chemedica has been focused on innovating and developing medical products of the highest quality since its inception. TRB Chemedica was among the first to develop pharmaceutical-grade sodium hyaluronate formulations from non-animal origin, using biofermented hyaluronic acid. In 1998, TRB Chemedica set a new standard in the treatment of osteoarthritis by introducing OSTENIL®, our sodium hyaluronate solution for intra-articular use. With a quarter-century of expertise, we have an extensive track record of in-house development of sodium hyaluronate products that are both safe and effective.
Producing hyaluronic acid products with Swiss precision and safety
TRB Chemedica’s industrial site in Vouvry, Valais, Switzerland, is a Swissmedic-certified and GMP-qualified manufacturing facility. On-site, the hyaluronic acid product manufacturing unit is paired closely with the R&D division. This enables innovative production methods and ensures that TRB Chemedica remains at the forefront of the highest manufacturing standards. By maintaining autonomy over the entire R&D and production process, we can ensure the utmost level of quality of our products.
Maintaining a high level of manufacturing standards is essential to delivering sodium hyaluronate products with an excellent safety profile and tolerability. At TRB Chemedica, our sodium hyaluronate products are developed using biofermented hyaluronic acid, meaning that our products are not derived from animals. Thanks to a high degree of biocompatibility with human tissues, our sodium hyaluronate has a superior safety and tolerability profile compared with competitor products derived from chemically cross-linked animal hyaluronic acid.14–16 In the context of our rheumatology products, this means there is minimal likelihood of post-injection reactions such as localised pain, swelling, or allergic reactions.
- Tram NK, Swindle-Reilly KE. Rheological Properties and Age-Related Changes of the Human Vitreous Humor. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2018;6:199. doi:10.3389/fbioe.2018.00199
- Legré-Boyer V. Viscosupplementation: Techniques, indications, results. Orthop Traumatol Surg Res. 2015;101(1):S101-S108. doi:10.1016/j.otsr.2014.07.027
- Maheu E, Avouac B, Dreiser RL, Bardin T. A single intra-articular injection of 2.0% non-chemically modified sodium hyaluronate vs 0.8% hylan G-F 20 in the treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: A 6-month, multicenter, randomized, controlled non-inferiority trial. PLOS ONE. 2019;14(12):e0226007. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0226007
- Altman R, Lim S, Steen RG, Dasa V. Hyaluronic Acid Injections Are Associated with Delay of Total Knee Replacement Surgery in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: Evidence from a Large U.S. Health Claims Database. PLOS ONE. 2015;10(12):e0145776. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145776
- Flores C, Balius R, Álvarez G, et al. Efficacy and Tolerability of Peritendinous Hyaluronic Acid in Patients with Supraspinatus Tendinopathy: a Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Trial. Sports Med – Open. 2017;3(1):22. doi:10.1186/s40798-017-0089-9
- Lynen N, De Vroey T, Spiegel I, Van Ongeval F, Hendrickx NJ, Stassijns G. Comparison of Peritendinous Hyaluronan Injections Versus Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in the Treatment of Painful Achilles’ Tendinopathy: A Randomized Clinical Efficacy and Safety Study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017;98(1):64-71. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2016.08.470
- Villamor A, Lloveras J, Camacho L, Ojeda A, Alonso A, Cami J, et al. Viscoseal aids recovery after arthroscopy – A single blind, randomised, multicentre study [Abstract P200]. In: Podium Presentations. Vol 12 (Supplement B). Osteoarthritis and Cartilage; 2004:S82-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2004.09.004
- de Heus JAC, Vuylsteke KH, Declercq GA. The effect of intra-articular hyaluronic acid after arthroscopic meniscus surgery. Results from a blinded randomized controlled trial. OUP. 2016;10:582-591. doi:10.3238/oup.2016.0582-0591
- Yang YJ, Lee WY, Kim Y jin, Hong Y pyo. A Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Hyaluronic Acid Eye Drops for the Treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(5):2383. doi:10.3390/ijerph18052383