There is considerable advantage in developing tissue-specific delivery systems for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. Synthetic water-soluble polymeric delivery systems have been developed to allow selective delivery of therapeutic and imaging agents to musculoskeletal tissues. For mineralized tissues, bone-targeting agents such as aspartic acid octapeptide could concentrate the polymer conjugates to bone surfaces including resorption sites, which was demonstrated with routine bone histomorphometry. For bone-associated soft tissues, other targeting approaches based on pathophysiological properties unique to the local tissue environment, such as the leaky vasculature in arthritic joints, were utilized to achieve the selective deposition of the polymeric delivery systems to the desired sites. For this study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to assess real-time pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of the MRI contrast agent conjugated polymer in major organs including skeletal tissues. The MRI data were then correlated with other standard imaging methods such as pQCT and DXA as well as routine histopathology and skeletal histomorphometry. Clearly, biopolymeric delivery systems may be used to improve the pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties of different therapeutic agents for musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis. In addition, this or related technologies may also be useful to improve diagnosis and medical imaging with positron emission tomography, gamma scintigraphy, or other technologies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine