A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed a material that could facilitate the deeper penetration of drugs into tissues generating the cartilage.The results of studies they conducted on animals are promising.
The scientists at MIT came to the conclusion that many drugs are washed away from joints before they can even get through to reach chondrocytes (cartilage-generating cells).Therefore, they designed a nanocarrier intended to let then overcome the barrier.The molecule contains a number of structures called "dendrimers" whose tips are positively charged.This makes it possible for them to bind with the cartilage that is negatively charged, due to which they find it easier to transfer drugs.
In order to facilitate letting the molecules move deeper into the tissue, the researchers reached for a polymer named PEG. It is capable for improving their hydration and may be partially subject to positive charging while moving.Such charged molecules are capable of briefly disconnecting from the cartilage to plunge deeper into disease-affected tissues.
In the meantime, it is the material intended for providing a treatment of osteoarthritis that resulted from a traumatic injury undergoing development, while the scientists are more than sure that it will soon be possible to use it in other cases as well. They are planning to harness the carrier to other drugs - such as those blocking inflammatory cytokines.