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Nanoparticle jabs may help treat arthritis: Study

WASHINGTON: The injection of nanoparticles into a joint immediately after injury can suppress inflammation, reduce cartilage destruction and reduce the risk for osteoarthritis, a new study in mice suggests.

“I see a lot of patients with osteoarthritis, and there is really no treatment,” said Christine Pham of the University of Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, in the US ..

“We try to treat your symptoms, but even when steroids are injected into an arthritic joint, the drug remains only for a maximum of a few hours, and then it’s clear. These nanoparticles remain in the joint longer and help prevent cartilage degeneration, “Pham said.

Often, patients with osteoarthritis suffer a previous injury -. Torn meniscus or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee, a fall, accident or other trauma

The body naturally responds to this type of joint injuries with robust inflammation.

Generally, patients taking medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and as the pain gets worse, steroid injections can also provide pain relief, but its effects are short-lived.

In the new study, the nanoparticles were injected shortly after an injury, and within 24 hours nanoparticles were at work taming inflammation in the joint.

Unlike steroid injections that are quickly eliminated, the particles remained in cartilage cells in the joints for weeks.

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The nanoparticles used in the study are more than 10 times smaller than a red blood cell, which helps them to penetrate deep into tissues.

The particles carry a peptide derived from a naturally occurring protein called melittin that has been modified so that it can bind to a molecule called small interfering RNA (siRNA).

Melittin siRNA delivery to the damaged joint, interfering with inflammation in cells.

The peptide-based nanoparticle was designed by researchers study co-Hua Pan, assistant professor of medicine, and Samuel Wickline, professor of Biomedical Sciences.

“Nanoparticles are injected directly into the joint, and because of its size, which easily penetrate into the cartilage to enter the damaged cells,” Wickline said.

“Previously, we delivered nanoparticles through the bloodstream and have been shown to inhibit inflammation in a model of rheumatoid arthritis. In this study, were injected locally into the joint and are given the opportunity to penetrate in injured cartilage, “he said.

Nanoparticles were injected shortly after injury to prevent cartilage degradation which ultimately leads to osteoarthritis.

The results suggest that nanoparticles, if given soon after joint injuries occur, could help maintain the viability of cartilage and prevent the progression of osteoarthritis.

“The inflammatory molecule that we are focusing not only cause problems after an injury, but is also responsible for a lot of inflammation in advanced cases of osteoarthritis,” said Linda J Sandell, Center of the University of Washington for musculoskeletal Research.

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RESEARCHERS. Pan Hua, Deputy Director, Medicine and Professor Samuel Wickline, Professor, Biomedical Sciences

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