New 'microcapsules' could repair osteoarthritis damage

20 January 2015

A new study has found that 'microcapsule' treatment delivery can reduce the inflammation in cartilage caused by osteoarthritis.

The researchers from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) also found that the therapy could reverse damage to tissue.

A naturally occurring protein molecule called C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) is known to reduce inflammation and encourage repair, but it cannot be used to treat osteoarthritis as it is unable to target the specific area. This is because CNP can be broken down easily and does not reach the damaged site.

Funded by Arthritis Research UK and the AO Foundation, the study constructed tiny microcapsules, with individual layers containing CNP that could release the protein slowly and deliver the treatment in the most effective way.

The researchers believe that injections of microcapsules could be used in the future to help patients with osteoarthritis, which could be easily delivered by a GP.

Dr Tina Chowdhury from QMUL's School of Engineering and Materials Science, who led the research, said: "If we could design simple injections using the microcapsules, this means the technology has the potential to be an effective and relatively cheap treatment that could be delivered in the clinic or at home."

Posted by ​Phillip Briggs 

 

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