Potential arthritis treatment prevents cartilage breakdown – nanoscale particles
A new injectable material made of nanoscale particles that can administer drugs directly to the cartilage of people with osteoarthritis has been designed by a US team. The material can penetrate deep into the cartilage, delivering drugs that could potentially heal damaged tissue.
Researchers have found that delivering an experimental drug called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) with this new material prevented cartilage breakdown more effectively than injecting the drug into the joint on its own.
Previous studies have shown that IGF-1 can help regenerate cartilage in animals. But many osteoarthritis drugs that show promise in animal studies do not performed well in clinical trials. The research group suspected this was because the drugs were cleared from the joint before they could reach the deep layer of chondrocytes that they were intended to target. To overcome that, they successfully designed a material that could penetrate all the way through the cartilage.
“This is a way to get directly to the cells that are experiencing the damage and introduce different kinds of therapeutics that might change their behavior,” says Paula Hammond, the senior author of the study.
The researchers began developing this material as a way to treat osteoarthritis that results from traumatic injury, but they believe it could be adapted to treat age-related osteoarthritis.
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