Review Article

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2018, 11(9): 4489–4506

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-018-2071-3

Engineering nanoparticles for targeting rheumatoid arthritis: Past, present, and future trends

Isabel Matos Oliveira1,2, Cristiana Gonalves1,2, Rui Luís Reis1,2,3, and Joaquim Miguel Oliveira1,2,3 (*)

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1 3B’s Research Group – Biomaterials, Biodegradables, and Biomimetics, Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, AvePark, 4805-017 Barco, Guimares, Portugal
2 ICVS/3B’s-PT Government Associate Laboratory, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
3 The Discoveries Centre for Regenerative and Precision Medicine, Headquarters at University of Minho, Avepark, 4805-017 Barco, Guimares, Portugal

Keywords: nanoparticles, liposomes, dendrimers, rheumatoid arthritis
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ABSTRACT Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by synovial joint inflammation and cartilage and bone tissue destruction. Although there exist some treatment strategies for RA, they are not completely safe and effective. Therefore, it is important to develop and test new drugs for RA that specifically target inflamed/swollen joints and simultaneously attenuate other possible damages to healthy tissues. Nanotechnology can be a good alternative to consider when envisioning precise medication for treating RA. Through the use of nanoparticles, it is possible to increase bioavailability and bioactivity of therapeutics and enable selective targeting to damaged joints. Herein, recent studies using nanoparticles for the treatment of RA, namely with liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers, and metallic nanoparticles, have been reviewed. These therapeutic strategies have shown great promise in improving the treatment over that by traditional drugs. The results of these studies confirm that feasibility of the use of nanoparticles is mainly due to their biocompatibility, low toxicity, controlled release, and selective drug delivery to inflamed tissues in animal RA models. Therefore, it is possible to claim that nanotechnology will, in the near future, play a crucial role in advanced treatments and patient-specific therapies for human diseases such as RA.
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Engineering nanoparticles for targeting rheumatoid arthritis: Past, present, and future trends. Nano Res. 2018, 11(9): 4489–4506 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-018-2071-3

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