BME Seminar Series: Rebecca Bader, Ph.D.
Polysaccharide-Based Drug Delivery Strategies
Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Department, Syracuse University
Historically, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been treated with gold salts that have anti-rheumatic properties, such as auranofin, immunosuppressants that are typically used following organ transplantation, including cyclosporine A, or with cytotoxic cancer therapeutics that have immunosuppressive side effects, particularly methotrexate. These so called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have severe, potentially life threatening, consequences due to non-specific targeting and impaired immune function. In recent years, paradigms have shifted towards combining toxic drugs with molecular vehicles intended to promote delivery exclusively to the diseased region, thereby increasing efficacy and reducing side effects. To further enhance this specificity, the carrier systems are often combined with targeting moieties such as antibodies, small peptides, and natural ligands.
This talk will describe our approaches towards improving the delivery of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic DMARDs to the inflamed joint tissue. We use polysaccharide-based materials for entrapment/encapsulation of common drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Recent studies have focused on the use of polysialic acid improve circulatory stability and facilitate passive accumulation within the diseased region. This talk will also highlight in vitro methods used to assess the efficacy of drug delivery systems. In sum, the work described provides insight into how drug delivery technology can be used to improve the lives of those that suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.