Researchers have created a synthetic drug whose injections help the body regenerate cartilage in arthritis.
Cartilage plays a key role in our joints as it absorbs the forces generated during movement. This tissue does not regenerate naturally, so it can deteriorate over time or as a result of injuries and illnesses. Arthritis is one of the most common causes of disability and causes severe pain when moving..
In recent years, scientists have been looking for various ways to slow down the degradation of cartilage and restore it. University of Pennsylvania team decided to use a new synthetic molecule for treatment that stimulates the growth of new tissue.
The researchers found that epidermal growth factor deficiency accelerates the progression of osteoarthritis in mice. Therefore, they hypothesized that activating it could help in healing it. By injecting this protein into the knee joint of laboratory animals with arthritis, scientists recorded a slowdown in cartilage degradation, even in the group with the removed meniscus..
Because the free transforming growth factor alpha ligands have a short half-life, the team pre-attached them to synthetic nanoparticles, which were then injected into the knees of mice. In addition to their transport function, nanoparticles also slow down destruction tissues and reduce the toxicity of the drug outside the joint.
We also previously reported on the development of a synthetic protein that repairs nerve fibers in paralyzed mice.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Getty Images
A drug has been developed that stops arthritis and restores cartilage