Thermoresponsive, hollow, degradable core-shell nanoparticles for intra-articular delivery of anti-inflammatory peptide

Marcus Deloney, Kyra Smart, Blaine A. Christiansen, Alyssa Panitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Inflammation following joint trauma contributes to cartilage degradation and progression of post traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). Therefore, drug delivery vehicles that deliver effective anti-inflammatory treatments have the potential to prevent PTOA. We have developed solid and hollow, thermoresponsive nanoparticles for the controlled release of our anti-inflammatory MK2-inhibiting (MK2i) peptide for intra-articular injection to halt inflammation that contributes to the advancement of PTOA. This system exploits the thermosensitive characteristic of N-isopropyl acrylamide (NIPAm) to transition phases when passing through its lower critical solution temperature (LCST). The nanoparticles (NPs) swell below the LCST and constrict above it. Non-crosslinked poly(NIPAm) (pNIPAm), held above its LCST, formed hydrophobic cores around which shells composed of NIPAm, degradable crosslinker N, N′-bis (acryloyl) cystamine (BAC), sulfated 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid (AMPS), and acrylic acid (AAc) were polymerized. Removal of the non-crosslinked pNIPAm cores via diffusion produced thermosensitive, degradable nanoparticles with low density, or hollow, cores. The data presented here revealed low-density, termed hollow, nanoparticles (hNPs) load and release significantly more MK2i than solid nanoparticles (sNPs). Furthermore, drug loading below the LCST of NIPAm results in roughly 2.5 times more therapeutic encapsulation compared to loading particles in their constricted state. Hollow nanoparticles increase drug loading compared to solid nanoparticles, are taken up into chondrocytes within 24 h, cleared from the cells within 6 days, significantly decrease the secretion of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6, and, via intra-articular injection, are successfully delivered into the joint space of rats. The peptide loaded nanoparticles provide a reproducible platform for intra-articular delivery of therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - Jul 10 2020


  • Cell-penetrating peptide
  • Core-Shell nanoparticle
  • Inflammation
  • Intra-articular
  • N-isopropylacrylamide
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Thermosensitive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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