This study focuses on intra-articular (IA) drug delivery system for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA). In osteoarthritic condition the synovial fluid presents pockets with lower pH environment. To take advantage of these pH differences, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) and pH– responsive PLGA NPs encapsulated with ammonium bicarbonate (NH4HCO3) were generated. The nanoparticles were loaded with hyaluronic acid (HA) as a possible model drug for OA and with near-infrared dye (NIR) that was used to visualize the NPs with molecular imaging techniques. These NPs were characterized by dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy and compared in in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo experiments in the treatment of OA. The results indicate that the NPs were sufficiently small, displayed a uniform size distribution and were non-toxic both in vitro and in vivo. Both NPs treatment seem to induced a reduction in OA progression, with pH- responsive NPs showing the more pronounced effect. This is probably because the pockets of low pH environment in the synovial fluid trigger a burst release of the pH-responsive NPs. This result is corroborated by in vitro experiments since the pH- responsive NPs showed an extracellular burst release behavior and higher chondrocyte vitality than non-responsive NPs. This study demonstrates that PLGA NPs containing HA and NH4HCO3 are candidates for the treatment of knee OA.

, , , , ,,
VSNU Open Access deal
Journal of Controlled Release
Department of Orthopaedics

Zerrillo, L. (L.), Que, I., Vepris, O. (O.), Morgado, L.N. (L. N.), Chan, A., Bierau, K. (K.), … Cruz, L.J. (L. J.). (2019). pH-responsive poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles containing near-infrared dye for visualization and hyaluronic acid for treatment of osteoarthritis. Journal of Controlled Release, 309, 265–276. doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2019.07.031