Nanomodifications of Mesenchymal Stem Cells hold Promise for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Traditional medication is not satisfied in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) therapy due to its long-term side effects and failure in cartilage repair. Nanomodification of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) holds promise for lifting such hurdles but delivering therapeutic nanomaterials (NPs) into MSCs remains challenging in this new strategy. 

In a recent study published in the journal Biomaterials, researchers showed that CuS@MnO2 nanoparticles synthesized with a short bacteriophage-selected mesenchymal stem cell targeting peptide allowed MSCs to take up these NPs and improved therapy of RA using stem cells. 

MSCs have distinctive characteristics, including multilineage differentiation, inflammatory site and immunomodulation homing, which makes them a potential treatment for a variety of inflammatory and degenerative diseases. 

According to the study, the therapy with MSCs for RA could be enhanced by short targeting peptide-promoted nanomodulation. 

Intravenous Infusion Using a Rat Model

CuS@Mn2 NPs were produced due to some of their elements’ appealing features. Mn and Cu both are critical trace components in the human body, and they play a key role in the production of natural Mn superoxide dismutase (SOD) and Cu-Zn SOD, respectively.

These elements can also encourage stem cell chondrogenesis. The researchers found that the MSCs in combination with CuS@MnO2 effectively limited synovial inflammation and maintained cartilage structure, while also alleviating symptoms. The team used a rat model and an intravenous injection as delivery route for the MSCs. 

They found that the injections reduced cartilage damage and synovial hyperplasia in their model of arthritis. The researchers believe that since oxidative stress is present in numerous degenerative and inflammatory disorders, the same strategy using NPs could be applied to other disorders to achieve faster tissue healing using stem cells. 


Yao Lu, et al. Highly effective rheumatoid arthritis therapy by peptide-promoted nanomodification of mesenchymal stem cells. Biomaterials. 2022. 

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