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UCIBIO, ICETA REQUIMTE, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal


Biocarrier Group, INEB—Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica, Rua do Campo Alegre, 823, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal


CESPU, Instituto de Investigação e Formação Avançada em Ciências e Tecnologias da Saúde, Rua Central de Gandra, 1317, 4585-116 Granda PRD, Portugal


Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Didier Astruc

Abstract Rheumatoid arthritis RA is the most common joint-related autoimmune disease and one of the most severe. Despite intensive investigation, the RA inflammatory process remains largely unknown and finding effective and long lasting therapies that specifically target RA is a challenging task. This study proposes a different approach for RA therapy, taking advantage of the new emerging field of nanomedicine to develop a targeted theranostic system for intravenous administration, using solid lipid nanoparticles SLN, a biocompatible and biodegradable colloidal delivery system, surface-functionalized with an anti-CD64 antibody that specifically targets macrophages in RA. Methotrexate MTX and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles SPIONs were co-encapsulated inside the SLNs to be used as therapeutic and imaging agents, respectively. All the formulations presented sizes under 250 nm and zeta potential values lower than −16 mV, suitable characteristics for intravenous administration. Transmission electron microscopy TEM photographs indicated that the SPIONs were encapsulated inside the SLN matrix and MTX association efficiency values were higher than 98%. In vitro studies, using THP-1 cells, demonstrated that all formulations presented low cytotoxicity at concentrations lower than 500 μg-mL. It was proven that the proposed NPs were not cytotoxic, that both a therapeutic and imaging agent could be co-encapsulated and that the SLN could be functionalized for a potential future application such as anti-body specific targeting. The proposed formulations are, therefore, promising candidates for future theranostic applications. View Full-Text

Keywords: nanomedicine; rheumatoid arthritis; theranostics; solid lipid nanoparticles nanomedicine; rheumatoid arthritis; theranostics; solid lipid nanoparticles

Autor: João Albuquerque 1, Catarina Costa Moura 1, Bruno Sarmento 2,3,* and Salette Reis 1



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