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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Mar 2024 - 22 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 14

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces


Reproducible Synthesis of Biocompatible Albumin Nanoparticles Designed for Intra-articular Administration of Celecoxib to Treat Osteoarthritis.


Khandelia R, Hodgkinson T, Crean D, Brougham DF, Scholz D, Ibrahim H, Quinn SJ, Rodriguez BJ, Kennedy OD, O'Byrne JM, Brayden DJ


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, with intra-articular (IA) delivery of therapeutics being the current best option to treat pain and inflammation. However, IA delivery is challenging due to the rapid clearance of therapeutics from the joint and the need for repeated injections. Thus, there is a need for long-acting delivery systems that increase the drug retention time in joints with the capacity to penetrate OA cartilage. As pharmaceutical utility also demands that this is achieved using biocompatible materials that provide colloidal stability, our aim was to develop a nanoparticle (NP) delivery system loaded with the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib that can meet these criteria. We devised a reproducible and economical method to synthesize the colloidally stable albumin NPs loaded with celecoxib without the use of any of the following conditions: high temperatures at which albumin denaturation occurs, polymer coatings, oils, Class 1/2 solvents, and chemical protein cross-linkers. The spherical NP suspensions were biocompatible, monodisperse with average diameters of 72 nm (ideal for OA cartilage penetration), and they were stable over 6 months at 4 °C. Moreover, the NPs loaded celecoxib at higher levels than those required for the therapeutic response in arthritic joints. For these reasons, they are the first of their kind. Labeled NPs were internalized by primary human articular chondrocytes cultured from the knee joints of OA patients. The NPs reduced the concentration of inflammatory mediator prostaglandin E released by the primaries, an indication of retained bioactivity following NP synthesis. Similar results were observed in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human THP-1 monocytes. The IA administration of these NPs is expected to avoid side-effects associated with oral administration of celecoxib and to maintain a high local concentration in the knee joint over a sustained period. They are now ready for evaluation by IA administration in animal models of OA.