Celecoxib-loaded PEA microspheres as an auto regulatory drug-delivery system after intra-articular injection

Maarten Janssen, Ufuk Tan Timur*, Nina Woike, Tim J. M. Welting, Guy Draaisma, Marion Gijbels, Lodewijk W. van Rhijn, George Mihov, Jens Thies, Pieter J. Emans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Web of Science)


In this study, we investigated the potential of celecoxib-loaded polyester amide (PEA) microspheres as an autoregulating drug delivery system for the treatment of pain associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Celecoxib release from PEA microspheres and inflammation responsive release of a small molecule from PEA was investigated in vitro. Inflammation responsive release of a small molecule from PEA was observed when PEA was exposed to cell lysates obtained from a neutrophil-like Hl-60 cell line. Following a short initial burst release of similar to 15% of the total drug load in the first days, celecoxib was slowly released throughout a period of >80 days. To investigate biocompatibility and degradation behavior in vivo, celecoxib-loaded PEA microspheres were injected in OA-induced (ACLT+ pMMx) or contralateral healthy knee joints of male Lewis rats. Bioactivity of celecoxib from loaded PEA microspheres was confirmed by PGE(2) measurements in total rat knee homogenates. Intra-articular biocompatibility was demonstrated histologically, where no cartilage damage or synovial thickening and necrosis were observed after intra-articular injections with PEA microspheres. Degradation of PEA microspheres was significantly higher in OA induced knees compared to contralateral healthy knee joints, while loading the PEA microspheres with celecoxib significantly inhibited degradation, indicating a drug delivery system with auto regulatory behavior. In conclusion, this study suggests the potential of celecoxib-loaded PEA microspheres to be used as a safe drug delivery system with auto regulatory behavior for treatment of pain associatedwith OA of the knee.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2016


  • Drug-delivery
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Polyester amide
  • Microspheres
  • Autoregulation
  • Slow release

Cite this