Inflammation-specific targeted carriers for local drug delivery to inflammatory bowel disease

Biomaterials. 2022 Feb:281:121364. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121364. Epub 2022 Jan 5.


Delivering drugs directly to the inflamed intestinal sites to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), particularly Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, is highly challenging. Recent advances in colitis therapy medications are expanding opportunities for improving local on-site drug availability by minimising the associated systemic side-effects. Drug delivery with targeted carrier systems has shown the potential to increase site-specificity, stability, and therapeutic efficacy. Herein, we report the development of a strong anionic charged inflammation targeted nanocarriers (IT-NCs) loaded with an immunosuppressant model drug. This system showed preferential adhesion on a charge-modified surface in vitro, and in both dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) and TNBS colitis mice in vivo models. IT-NCs showed improved colitis phenotype therapeutic efficacy in both animal models compared to free drug. Furthermore, ex vivo study of colon tissue biopsies from patients with colitis revealed that IT-NCs adhered preferentially to inflamed biopsies compared to normal. Together, our results suggest that IT-NCs have promising therapeutic potential as delivery carriers' in colitis management.

Keywords: Drug delivery; Hyaluronan; Inflammatory bowel disease; Targeted nanocarriers; Ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colitis* / chemically induced
  • Colitis* / drug therapy
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / drug therapy
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / pathology
  • Colon / pathology
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Carriers / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / pathology
  • Intestinal Mucosa
  • Mice


  • Drug Carriers
  • Dextran Sulfate