30 November 2018

Nanoparticles against arthrosis

Nanodrug protects joints from destruction

Georgy Golovanov, Hi-tech+

MIT specialists have developed nanoparticles capable of delivering a drug deep into cartilage and healing damaged tissues. This form is much more effective in fighting osteoarthritis than conventional injections.

Osteoarthritis, which affects the cartilage tissues of the joints and causes severe pain, is one of the main causes of disability. It affects two thirds of the elderly and senile population.

Previous studies have shown that IGF-1, an insulin–like growth factor 1, can repair cartilage in animals. However, many drugs for osteoatrosis show good results in animal experiments, but do not manifest themselves in the best way in clinical trials, writes MIT News.

According to scientists from MIT, this is due to the fact that the drug is removed from the cartilage before it reaches the inner layers of chondrocytes, smooth connective tissues that protect the joints, for which it was created. Spherical molecules forming a branching structure helped solve this problem. At the end of each branch, the molecules have a positive charge, which helps them connect with negatively charged cartilage.

When such particles enter the joint, they cover the surface of the cartilage, and then penetrate through it.

As soon as the particles reach the chondrocytes, IGF-1 molecules connect to receptors on the cell surface and stimulate it to produce proteoglycans, the building blocks of cartilage and other connective tissues. IGF-1 also promotes cell growth and protects them from destruction.   

MIT chemists have tested a new method of drug delivery on rats.

The result showed that the half-life of the material is about four days, which is 10 times longer than in the case of a conventional IGF-1 injection.

The concentration of the drug remains high enough to have a therapeutic effect for 30 days.

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