Lower back pain resulting from intervertebral disc degeneration is one of the leading musculoskeletal disorders confronting our health system. Disc degeneration is accompanied by a decrease in aggrecan content in the nucleus pulposus. A possible approach to mechanically stabilizing the disc early in the degenerative cascade is by increasing the concentration of aggrecan in the nucleus to normal level thereby increasing hydration and intradiscal pressure. Treatment with natural aggrecan, however, is cost prohibitive. Here we report synthesis and characterization of an enzymatically-resistant, biomimetic aggrecan consisting of a synthetic polymer core with covalently attached chondroitin sulfate bristles. Our novel biomimetic aggrecan mimics the structure and osmotic properties of natural aggrecan and is cytocompatible.