Nanomedicines for Inflammatory Diseases
Inflammation is the body's natural defense mechanism in response to many diseases including infection, cancer, and autoimmune disease. Since the birth of nanotechnology at the end of the twentieth century, scientists have been utilizing the pathophysiologic features of inflammation, mainly leaky vasculature and the overexpression of biomarkers, to design nanomedicines that can deliver drugs with passive and active targeting mechanisms to inflamed tissue sites and achieve effective therapy. Recent advances in nanomedicine research have provided scientists with nanocarriers of many unique and tunable properties to match the specific requirements for the treatment of different inflammatory disease conditions. In this chapter, we describe some of the materials and methods used in the preparation and characterization of these nanomedicines, approaches used for the evaluation of their efficacy on a cellular and organ level, as well as available animal models. We also show how safety and biodistribution studies using anti-inflammatory nanomedicines are conducted in our laboratory for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis animal models.
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