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Recent Advances in Clinical Translation of Intra-Articular Osteoarthritis Drug Delivery Systems


DeJulius CRCarlisle R , Gulati SShubham , Hasty KAKaren A , Crofford LJLeslie J , Duvall CLCraig L . Advanced therapeutics. 2020 9 28; 4(1).


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease of the joints and a leading cause of physical disability in adults. Intra-articular (IA) therapy is a popular treatment strategy for localized, single-joint OA; however, small-molecule drugs such as corticosteroids do not provide prolonged relief. One possible reason for their lack of efficacy is high clearance rates from the joint through constant lymphatic drainage of the synovial tissues and synovial fluid and also by their exchange via the synovial vasculature. Advanced drug delivery strategies for extended release of therapeutic agents in the joint space is a promising approach to improve outcomes for OA patients. Broadly, the basic principle behind this strategy is to encapsulate therapeutic agents in a polymeric drug delivery system (DDS) for diffusion- and/or degradation-controlled release, whereby degradation can occur by hydrolysis or tied to relevant microenvironmental cues such as pH, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and protease activity. In this review, we highlight the development of clinically tested IA therapies for OA and highlight recent systems which have been investigated preclinically. DDS strategies including hydrogels, liposomes, polymeric microparticles (MPs) and nanoparticles (NPs), drug conjugates, and combination systems are introduced and evaluated for clinical translational potential.