Dr. Blanka Sharma and her collaborators Dr. Kyle Allen, BME associate professor, and Dr. Wendy Liu, associate professor of biomedical engineering at UC Irvine, were recently awarded an R01 research grant from the National Institutes of Health. This grant seeks to investigate a multi-modal approach to osteoarthritis therapies. Osteoarthritis, a complex disease that involves the destruction of articulating joints, involves multiple tissues that each contribute differently to the joint pathophysiology. By specifically directing various drugs to the appropriate target locations within the joint, the overall joint retention of these drugs will be increased – addressing a major limitation of the translation of preclinical drugs – and disease progression can be intercepted at multiple routes of pathogenesis. From these studies, the Sharma Lab aims to improve our understanding of the impact of combination therapies as well as advance the field of delivery vehicles for the joint. These engineered vehicles may then open the door for a variety of other preclinical drugs that may have previously seemed inefficient, but could be effective with enhanced delivery and targeting.
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