An ice-inspired lubricant improves osteoarthritis signs in rats — ScienceDay by day

An ice-inspired lubricant improves osteoarthritis signs in rats — ScienceDay by day


With the Winter Olympics approaching, many individuals will quickly be tuning in to look at occasions that happen on ice, corresponding to determine skating, velocity skating and ice hockey. An ultrathin, super-lubricating layer of water on the ice’s floor is important for skaters’ swish glides. Inspired by this floor, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have developed a therapy for osteoarthritis that enhances lubrication and reduces friction and irritation in a rat mannequin of the illness.

Osteoarthritis, a persistent illness widespread in middle-aged and older folks, is characterised by persistent irritation and degeneration of cartilage within the joints. Anti-inflammatory medication will help relieve ache and irritation, however long-term use can scale back their effectiveness or trigger gastrointestinal issues. Corticosteroids injected straight into the joint present non permanent reduction, however frequent remedies can typically injury the cartilage. Yuanjin Zhao and colleagues needed to develop drug supply particles that, when injected right into a joint, may safely improve lubrication and reduce irritation.

The researchers based mostly their particles on hyaluronic acid (HA), a pure polysaccharide already used as a lubricant to deal with osteoarthritis, however this molecule degrades quickly contained in the physique. So the researchers used a microfluidic machine to make tiny methacrylate anhydride-HA gel particles, which they reasoned is likely to be stronger and persist longer within the physique than an HA resolution. To improve the lubrication of the particles, the staff coated them with 2-methylacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC), which has positively and negatively charged chemical teams that entice a skinny layer of water, much like ice. In addition, the particles’ pores had been loaded with an anti-inflammatory drug, which could possibly be slowly and constantly launched. The researchers then injected drug-loaded HA-MPC particles into the knee joints of rats with early-stage osteoarthritis. The joints of handled rats had been extra lubricated and had much less cartilage destruction, joint friction and irritation in contrast with a management group. The handled rats additionally expressed greater ranges of collagen II and aggrecan, two markers of wholesome cartilage. The particles have nice potential for medical functions, however first they have to bear further animal and biosafety checks, the researchers say.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Key Research and Development Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu and the Shenzhen Fundamental Research Program.

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Materials supplied by American Chemical Society. Note: Content could also be edited for type and size.



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