Brett C Geiger
Osteoarthritis is a debilitating disease of the joint characterized by loss of cartilage, resulting in extreme pain and mobility problems. Once cartilage is destroyed, there are no effective therapies to replace it. Clinical intervention is primarily focused on pain relief, not on treating the underlying cause of the disease. While there are drugs, such as insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), that are capable of promoting cartilage regeneration, these drugs alone are not able to penetrate and reside in cartilage for long enough to be effective. By incorporating IGF-1 into a nanoparticle of electrostatically self-assembled polypeptides, we increase the retention time of IGF-1 in cartilage, enabling IGF-1 to rescue cartilage in rats with early stage osteoarthritis.