Nanocarriers Regulating Metabolism as a NovelTreatment Strategy for Age-Induced Osteoarthritis
Our goal is to develop a simple nanotherapeutic to slow down disease progression in age-related osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a degenerative proinflammatory disease of the joint cartilage, where pain and stiffness can be so severe it hinders daily tasks. The disease affects over 250 million people worldwide.
Only symptomatic treatment options exist, neither halting the disease progression nor reversing the joint damage. Complete surgical joint replacement is the only option for severe cases. The disease has a complex etiology, but two contributing factors for disease propagation is the involvement of inflammation and reduced chondrocyte activity. We hypothesize that advanced nanocarriers can alter the chondrocytes’ decreased activity. Our approach includes two mechanisms; 1) activating the master regulator of energy metabolism (AMPK), and 2) providing an energy source via our material design:
nanocarriers based on the energy storage polysaccharide glycogen. The goal is to revive chondrocytes and to reinitiate cartilage matrix production. We specifically treat only affected cells by controlling drug release through the biochemistry of inflammation. In addition, fluorescent labeling of our particles allows for studies on cartilage and chondrocyte energy metabolism in both healthy and arthritic disease states.
The long-term results of this project aim to impact patient health and quality of life and to reduce the burden of our society’s healthcare costs.
Alexandra Stubelius (contact)
Assistant Professor at Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology
Stiftelsen Sigurd och Elsa Goljes Minne
Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–2021
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