About the project of Bradley
The loss of aggrecan though proteolytic cleavage precedes the degradation of collagen and other matrix macromolecules in Osteoarthritis (OA) and Intervertebral Disc (IvD) pathogenesis and thus the presence of their catabolites presents a suitable early marker of disease onset and thereby a target for drug-delivery using nano-vesicle/carrier therapeutics. The focus of my ESR project, based at Cardiff University, will be the production of new and existing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed towards epitopes and neo-epitopes on native and enzyme-catabolised matrix macromolecules implicated in OA and IvD degeneration. These mAbs will serve as target-seeking moieties for drug-loaded nano-vesicle/carriers, developed within the consortium, with specificity for detecting areas of early tissue damage with the aim of their encapsulated drugs preventing or slowing disease-induced inflammation and matrix degradation. The activity and suitability of mAbs generated for drug-loaded nano-vesicle/carrier targeting will be assessed using established in vitro bovine explant cultures and animal models of OA.