Research ArticleNanomedicine

Cartilage-penetrating nanocarriers improve delivery and efficacy of growth factor treatment of osteoarthritis

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Science Translational Medicine  28 Nov 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 469, eaat8800
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat8800

Dendrimer deliverance for cartilage degeneration

There are currently no disease-modifying drugs to treat osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating disease affecting the joints. Here, Geiger et al. developed dendrimer-based nanocarriers to deliver insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) to chondrocytes within joint cartilage. By tuning the surface charge of the nanocarriers, dendrimer–IGF-1 could penetrate full-thickness bovine cartilage ex vivo. Nanocarriers injected into joints were retained in rat knees in models of OA and reduced cartilage degeneration. This study suggests that targeting delivery of disease-modifying agents to chondrocytes using dendrimer nanocarriers could be therapeutic for OA.

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