Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.

Trigger-responsive engineered nanocarriers and image-guided theranostics for Rheumatoid Arthritis


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), one of the leading causes of disability due to progressive autoimmune destruction of synovial joints, affects ~1% of the global population. Standard therapy helps reducing inflammation and delaying the progression of RA but limited by non-responsiveness on long-term use and several side-effects. The conventional nanocarriers (CNCs), to some extent, minimize toxicity associated with free drug administration while improving therapeutic efficacy. However, due to uncontrolled release of the encapsulated drug even at off-targeted organs limits the application of CNCs. To overcome these challenges, trigger-responsive engineered-nanocarriers (ENCs) are being recently explored for RA treatment. Unlike CNCs, the ENCs enable precise control over on-demand drug release due to endogenous triggers in arthritic paw like pH, enzyme level, oxidative stress, or exogenously applied triggers like near-infrared light, magnetic field, ultrasonic waves, etc. As the trigger is selectively applied to the inflamed joint, it potentially reduces toxicity at off-target locations. Moreover, the ENCs have been strategically coupled with imaging probe(s) for simultaneous monitoring ENCs inside body and facilitate ‘image-guided-co-trigger’ for site-specific action in arthritic paw. In this review, the progress made on recently emerging ‘trigger-responsive’ and ‘image-guided theranostics’ ENCs for RA treatment has been explored with emphasis on the design strategies, mechanism, current status, challenges, and translational perspectives.

Back to tab navigation

Article information

26 Feb 2020
13 May 2020
First published
18 May 2020

Nanoscale, 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type
Review Article

Trigger-responsive engineered nanocarriers and image-guided theranostics for Rheumatoid Arthritis

N. Ahamad, A. Prabhakar, S. Mehta, E. Singh, E. Bhatia, S. Sharma and R. Banerjee, Nanoscale, 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0NR01648A

Social activity

Search articles by author