Research press release


Nature Communications

Biomedical engineering: Responsive hydrogels may treat arthritis



今回、Jeffrey Karpたちの研究グループは、フレア応答性ヒドロゲルを開発して、炎症性関節炎の活動性と薬剤用量のミスマッチを解消することを目指した。炎症性関節炎の細胞モデルとマウスモデルにおいて、このヒドロゲルを関節炎関連酵素にさらすと、ヒドロゲルは分解された。このヒドロゲルにはさまざまな低分子を封入でき、その放出量をフレアアップの重症度と相関させることができる。関節炎の治療に用いられるコルチコステロイドをヒドロゲルに封入したところ、関節炎の活動性が低下したことが観察された。


A drug-release gel that responds to disease activity in inflammatory arthritis is demonstrated in a mouse model in Nature Communications this week.

People with inflammatory arthritis experience periods when the disease has low activity and periods when it is highly active, known as flare-ups. Treatment methods that deliver a sustained dose of medicine cannot react and adapt to these changes, which likely results in non-optimal doses as the disease cycles through its activity.

Jeffrey Karp and colleagues sought to address this mismatch between disease activity and drug dose by developing a flare-responsive hydrogel. In cell and mouse models of inflammatory arthritis, the gel is degraded when exposed to arthritis-related enzymes. The gel can be loaded with different small molecules with the amount released correlated to the severity of the flare-up. When the gel is loaded with a corticosteroid used to treat arthritis, reduced arthritis activity is observed.

The authors suggest that the responsive hydrogel is a potentially promising approach for treating inflammatory arthritis. They caution however, that more work is necessary to improve the composition of the gel and tests in larger animals with human-sized joints are required before potential human clinical trials could be considered. The authors conclude that this could be a first step for designing treatments that respond to disease activity.

doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03691-1

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