Nanoparticle system for the local delivery of disease modifying osteoarthritic drugs

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to develop the nanoparticles that i) can be injected intra-articularly ii) target to cartilage due to an opposite charge difference with the extracellular cartilaginous matrix and iii) due to their small size can penetrate into the cartilage. In this way retention time in the joint can be prolonged. By releasing disease modifying OA drugs (DMOAD) in the vicinity of chondrocytes such materials may be beneficial for restoring cartilage tissue homeostasis. Here we demonstrate the generation of drug-containing nanoparticles for intra-articular joint therapy. Methods: We have prepared nanoparticles of biodegradable poly ethylene glycol- poly lactic acid PEG-PLA co-block polymers. The hydrophilic PEG and hydrophobic PLA ends of this polymer make it possible to generate micelles that contain drugs. The polymers are functionalized with UV-sensitive acrylate groups that can be stabilized by UV-crosslinking. These drug containing nanoparticles will be used for intra-articular joint injection and release of DMOADs. We have also established co-culture systems in vitro using MSCs and chondrocytes where the effect of these molecules and nanocarriers can be tested. Results: Micelle type nanoparticles using PEG-PLA co-block polymers were prepared. The obtained dexamethasone loaded nanoparticles had diameters of 20-80 nm. These nanoparticles are photo-crosslinked at their hydrophobic cores which provides stability to the structure and resulted in a slight decrease in average particle size . Dexamethasone was successfully encapsulated in these nanoparticles. The current release profiles show initial burst release in the first 8 hours followed by a sustained release over at least 3 days. Conclusions: We have generated nanoparticles that can serve as a carrier system to deliver clinically relevant disease modifying osteoarthritic drugs in a more effective way after intra-articular injection. We are currently investigating the retention of nanoparticles in the joint and are developing strategies to target these particles to cartilage
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S303-S304
JournalOsteoarthritis and cartilage
Issue numberSupplement
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • IR-88602
  • METIS-300691


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