January 29, 2021
Painful arthritic joints resulting from everyday activities such as bending and lifting could eventually become a thing of the past, thanks to some fascinating new research coming from the lab of Farshid Guilak, PhD.
Current treatment of osteoarthritis pain is more reactive than proactive, and typically focuses on ways to alleviate the pain with anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen. However, Dr. Guilak and his team of researchers have discovered how to engineer cartilage cells found in the joint to release an anti-inflammatory drug when the joint is placed under stress, which would help to prevent joint damage and pain.
The drug released by the cells is called anakinra (Kineret), which is currently used for rheumatoid arthritis treatment and has also shown to be beneficial when used to treat patients who have developed osteoarthritis after an injury. The cell's ability to release an anti-inflammatory drug at the exact place and time that it's needed in the body brings a much more targeted approach to treating the source of osteoarthritis pain.
Read more about Dr. Guilak's research in the Washington University School of Medicine newsroom.
Dr. Guilak is the Mildred B. Simon Research Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and co-director of the Center of Regenerative Medicine at Washington University. Dr. Guilak is widely known for his research efforts in osteoarthritis, including the link between obesity and osteoarthritis and stem-cell based therapies for osteoarthritis. To date, he has published over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and received numerous awards.