Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common inflammatory disease characterized by progressive bone and cartilage destruction, resulting in severe functional limitations, shortened lifespan, and increased mortality rates. Recent advances and new treatment approaches have significantly delayed disease progression and improved the quality of life for many patients. Yet few patients attain or can be maintained in disease remission without continuous immunosuppressive therapy. In addition, a sizable portion of patients also fails to respond or eventually develops tolerance to current therapies. Thus there is a continued need for the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of RA. Unlike conventional drugs, nanosystems are designed to deliver therapeutic agents specifically to the site of inflammation, therefore avoiding potential systemic and off-target unwanted effects. They allow investigators to consider or reconsider therapeutic agents that were previously deemed too toxic to deliver through a systemic route. This article reviews recent nanotechnology-based strategies that are being developed for the treatment of inflammatory arthritis.
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.