Group researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a new experimental strategy that allows the drug to fight arthrosis with access to the inside of the cartilage of the joints and regenerating it. This progress, tested in rats, is a step forward to achieve a treatment that slows the progression of the incurable disease to this day.
Arthrosis is a progressive degeneration of the cartilage of the joints produced by aging or injury. This disease affects about 300 million people around the world and has no reverse direction, because "cartilage is a tissue that can not be regenerated." Although there are therapies that can weaken the symptoms of osteoarthritis, there is still no treatment that can slow down her progression.
One of the cures for treating is that the drug can not very easily enter the cartilage. Most are removed from the wrists before they come into force or enter the inside of the cartilage, where the cells they produce are chondrocytes so that they can not perform their functions.
Therefore, the researchers designed a nano-channel, a molecule that acts as an agent that can be inserted into the cartilage and carries a drug for chondrocytes. The molecule consists of a spherical part of which the drug binds, branch structures with a positive electrical charge and a compound called PEG.
Since 'cartilage' has a negative charge, the positive charges of the nantransporter cause it to adhere to the tissue. On the other hand, PEG allows you to open a passage through the "cartilage" and thus get to the chondrocytes.
According to the magazine Science translational medicineScientists have added a drug called IGF-1 to the nanopartist, which has the function of stimulating the production of cartilage and the survival and growth of chondrocytes. To test this experiment, the nanocarper was injected into the knee of rats that had osteoarthritis from an injury.
This treatment has reduced the degeneration of the cartilage, inflammation, and the appearance of bone changes. Also, with a nano-operator, the half-life of the drug in the joints is multiplied by ten. In addition, this has been retained in effective concentrations in the cartilage for thirty days, so it would potentially be a two-week or monthly injection.
"It's a very interesting study," says Joseph Werges, MD, president of the International Osteoarthritis Foundation (OAFI), who was not involved in the research.
According to Vergés, if it is applied in humans and is as effective in rats, it could improve the quality of life of patients, as this would be enough with one or two injections per month. However, it is still necessary to see if it has been confirmed in clinical trials. He adds that it may take between four and eight years for this medicine to be commercially available.