Shear-responsive boundary-lubricated hydrogels attenuate osteoarthritis

Bioact Mater. 2022 Feb 20;16:472-484. doi: 10.1016/j.bioactmat.2022.02.016. eCollection 2022 Oct.


Lipid-based boundary layers formed on liposome-containing hydrogels can facilitate lubrication. However, these boundary layers can be damaged by shear, resulting in decreased lubrication. Here, a shear-responsive boundary-lubricated drug-loaded hydrogel is created by incorporating celecoxib (CLX)-loaded liposomes within dynamic covalent bond-based hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels (CLX@Lipo@HA-gel). The dynamic cross-linked network enables the hydrogel to get restructured in response to shear, and the HA matrix allows the accumulation of internal liposome microreservoirs on the sliding surfaces, which results in the formation of boundary layers to provide stable lubrication. Moreover, hydration shells formed surrounding the hydrogel can retard the degradation process, thus helping in sustaining lubrication. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo experiments found that CLX@Lipo@HA-gels can maintain anabolic-catabolic balance, alleviate cartilage wear, and attenuate osteoarthritis progression by delivering CLX and shear-responsive boundary lubrication. Overall, CLX@Lipo@HA-gels can serve as shear-responsive boundary lubricants and drug-delivery vehicles to alleviate friction-related diseases like osteoarthritis.

Keywords: Boundary lubrication; Injectable hydrogels; Liposomes; Osteoarthritis; Shear-responsive.