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Development of Targeted Nanoscale Drug Delivery System for Osteoarthritic Cartilage Tissue

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Osteoarthritis is a severe and debilitating joint disease, which is characterized as results from damage and degeneration of the articular cartilage of the joint surfaces. The incidence of osteoarthritis is growing increasingly high while current treatment methods remain suboptimal. The major issue for current osteoarthritic medications is that patients frequently experience adverse, nonspecific side effects that are not a direct result of the specific pharmacological action of the drug. The treatment processes could be made more effective, safe, and comfortable if it were possible to deliver the drugs specifically to cartilage tissue. Therefore, developing site-specific and controlled drug release delivery systems is needed for overcoming the aforementioned issues. We have developed a poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)-based nanoscale drug delivery system based on a short cartilage-targeting peptide sequence: WYRGRL. Nanoparticles (NPs) made of methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-PLGA and maleimide-PEG-PLGA were prepared using a water-in-oil-in-water double emulsion and solvent evaporation method. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-tagged WYRGRL peptide was then linked to the surface of the nanoparticles through the alkylation reaction between the sulfhydryl groups at the N-terminal of the peptide and the C═C double bond of maleimide at one end of the polymer chain to form thioether bonds. The conjugation of FITC-tagged WYRGRL peptide to PLGA NPs was confirmed by NMR technique. We further demonstrated that the novel delivery system binds very specifically to cartilage tissue in vitro and ex vivo. Given that biodegradable PLGA-based NPs have shown promise for drug delivery, they could be used for a positive advancement for treatments of osteoarthritic patients by creating a more effective treatment process that achieves healing results faster and with fewer deleterious side effects. Taken together, these promising results indicated that this nanoscale targeting drug delivery system was able to bind to cartilage tissue and might have a great potential for treating osteoarthritis.
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Keywords: Musculoskeletal Tissue; Nanomedicine; Osteoarthritis; Targeted Drug Delivery; Targeting Ligands

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Regenerative Engineering, University of Connecticut Health Center, School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030, USA 2: Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT 06117, USA

Publication date: 01 April 2018

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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