Delivery systems for the treatment of degenerated intervertebral discs

Sebastien Blanquer, Dirk W. Grijpma, Andreas A. Poot

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The intervertebral disc (IVD) is the most avascular and acellular tissue in the body and therefore prone to degeneration. During IVD degeneration, the balance between anabolic and catabolic processes in the disc is deregulated, amongst others leading to alteration of extracellular matrix production, abnormal enzyme activities and production of pro-inflammatory substances like cytokines. The established treatment strategy for IVD degeneration consists of physiotherapy, pain medication by drug therapy and if necessary surgery. This approach, however, has shown limited success. Alternative strategies to increase and prolong the effects of bioactive agents and to reverse the process of IVD degeneration include the use of delivery systems for drugs, proteins, cells and genes. In view of the specific anatomy and physiology of the IVD and depending on the strategy of the therapy, different delivery systems have been developed which are reviewed in this article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-187
JournalAdvanced drug delivery reviews
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2015


  • IR-94351
  • METIS-308670

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