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Jingjing Gao, PhD




Research Fellow




Postdoctoral Research Fellow




Jingjing Gao1,2, Jing Yan3, Mickael Dang1, Kai Slaughter1, Jeffrey M Karp1,4,5,6,7*, Joerg Ermann2,3* Nitin Joshi1,2*

A rapidly recovering hydrogel-based delivery of disease modifying drug reduces osteoarthritis progression in active joints

With a strong desire to empower women in science, I’m writing to apply for the opportunity to present my research in the 2022 Women in Medicine and Science Symposium. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working with Dr. Jeffrey Karp and Dr. Nitin Joshi in the Department of Anesthesiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Nanomedicine Center at Harvard Medical Center, I am bridging my expertise in polymer chemistry, supramolecular design, and biomaterials to develop next-generation drug delivery platforms for multiple biomedical applications. As a woman and the first-generation Ph.D. of my family in STEM, I’m committed to empowering the community with my passion for science and medicine and encouraging more exciting female scientists from diverse

Background: Sustainedintra-articular delivery of disease modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs) holds promise for preventing the progression of PTOA. However, DMOADs are likely to work best in early disease, while patients are young and physically active. Repeated mechanical loading of joints due to strenuous activities can be detrimental for the delivery system and could affect the joint residence time and efficacy of the DMOAD.

Methods: Here, we report a hydrogel platform that can withstand repeated mechanical loading at levels comparable to the running human knee while maintaining sustained release of the encapsulated DMOAD.

Results: We found that TG-18 hydrogel has thixotropic properties: no changes were observed in the release kinetics of L-006235 or in the fibrous morphology of the hydrogel formulation after repeated cycles of mechanical loading as compared to a fresh hydrogel. Treadmill running does not affect the sustained release profile of encapsulated agents from the hydrogel in healthy mice. We show that L-006235-loaded TG-18 hydrogel (L-006235) gel prevented disease progression more effectively than free L-006235.

Conclusion: Our data provide proof of concept for DMOAD delivery via TG-18 hydrogel as a promising approach for preventing PTOA progression in physically active patients with early disease.