Rami Chakroun

Email: chakroun [at] mit . edu

Dendrimer-Drug Conjugates Functionalized for Cartilage Delivery and Penetration

To this day, no disease-modifying therapy has been approved for the treatment of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. The avascular nature of articular cartilage and rapid clearance from the joint space has prevented therapeutic drug concentrations from reaching their target site, located within the deeper tissue layers. My research aims to utilize electrostatic interactions to enhance drug penetration and transport through the dense collagen matrix of cartilage tissue, with a focus on highly branched cationic dendrimer systems. Through direct conjugation, functional polymers could be incorporated onto the dendrimer surface to induce unique properties and/or therapeutic agents for a sustainable and localized drug release. After intra-articular injection, we anticipate these dendrimer-drug conjugates to mitigate pain and inflammation, reduce the rate of cartilage degradation and/or aid in tissue regeneration.