"Among its advantages, the gel could allow the targeted release of medicine at an affected joint, and could dispense that medicine on demand in response to enzymes associated with arthritic flare-ups," according to Jeffrey Karp and Praveen Kuman Vemula at the Center for Regenerative Therapeutics (BWH).
Patients may no longer need to take oral drugs that are dispersed throughout the body. Ideally, the patient would want a drug released only in response to a biological stimulus such as an arthritic flare-up.
When tested on mice, the injectable gel released its drug payload when exposed to the enzymes present during inflammations.
The technique has yet to be demonstrated in humans.