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PolyU develops groundbreaking targeted osteoarthritis pain reliever

15 Sep 2021

Professor Yang Mo (second from left) and Dr Wen Chunyi (second from right) from PolyU's BME led a team to develop a groundbreaking and highly effective targeted osteoarthritis pain reliever.

Researchers at PolyU introduced their development of an imaging-guided nanoparticle photothermal treatment for osteoarthritis pain that uses the concept of targeted cancer therapy in a press conference held yesterday (14 September). The targeted osteoarthritis pain theranostics, which offer both diagnostics and therapeutics, are made of gold nanorods which are fused with antibodies directed against the nerve growth factor (NGF), the pain-triggering protein.


Professor Yang Mo, Associate Head (Research) of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, said it is the first time the concept of targeted photothermal therapy for osteoarthritis pain via nanotechnology is being introduced. He said testing on mice suggests the targeted photothermal treatment achieves satisfactory pain relief and improvement of motor function. It holds good promise for clinical translation to achieve long-lasting pain relief for days.


Dr Wen Chunyi, Associate Professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, said the dual-track pain treatments with the antibody-fused nanorods and laser stimulation reduced the amount of NGF in joint tissues more efficiently and did not cause damage to the surrounding soft tissues or bone. 


The research findings have been published in the prestigious journal ACS Nano by the American Chemical Society and were reported by Nature Reviews Rheumatology

Press release:

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