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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jun 2024 - 7 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 03

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces


Self-Assembled Multilayer-Modified Needles Simulate Acupuncture and Diclofenac Sodium Delivery for Rheumatoid Arthritis.


Wang C, Cheng J, Song L, Zhou Z, Zhao Q, Zhao Y, Wang H, Tan Y, Zhao B, Yang M


A novel therapeutic approach combining acupuncture and diclofenac sodium (DS) administration was established for the potential treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). DS is a commonly used anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug but has short duration and adverse effects. Acupoints are critical linkages in the meridian system and are potential candidates for drug delivery. Herein, we fabricated a DS-loaded multilayer-modified acupuncture needle (DS-MMAN) and investigated its capacity for inhibiting RA. This DS-MMAN possesses sustained release properties and anti-inflammatory effects. Experimental results showed that the DS-MMAN with microdoses can enhance analgesia and efficiently relieve joint swelling compared to the oral or intra-articular administration of DS with gram-level doses. Moreover, the combination of acupoint and DS exerts a synergistic improvement in inflammation and joint damage. Cytokine and T cell analyses in the serum indicated that the application of DS-MMAN suppressed the levels of pro-inflammatory factors and increased the levels of anti-inflammatory factors. Furthermore, the acupoint administration via DS-MMAN could decrease the accumulation of DS in the liver and kidneys, which may express better therapeutic efficiency and low toxicity. The present study demonstrated that the acupuncture needle has the potential to build a bridge between acupuncture and medication, which would be a promising alternative to the combination of traditional and modern medicine.