Intra-articular drug delivery systems: Overcoming the shortcomings of joint disease therapy

Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Helen M BurtLinda S Liang


Intra-articular drug delivery is very useful for treating local disease flare-ups, synovitis and pain in joints. However, the effectiveness of drugs following intra-articular administration is limited by drug delivery issues. This review addresses critical drug delivery parameters that influence the biocompatibility, tolerability and efficacy of intra-articular administrations and offers an opinion on aspects of formulation design. The relevant literature was reviewed, focusing on factors influencing tissue targeting, safety and effectiveness of particulate formulations. Therapeutic applications of novel drug delivery systems for the localized treatment of joints have lagged significantly. Future innovations in the field will require the discovery of new therapeutic agents for regional delivery, combination regimens, novel biomaterials as drug carriers and targeting carriers to specific molecules.


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