Assistant Professor Hongsik Cho Receives $270,000 Grant Award to Develop Therapeutic Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

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Dr. Hongsik Cho is working to create new treatment options for osteoarthritis.

Hongsik Cho, PhD, MBA, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a $270,000 grant award from the Arthritis Foundation to research new treatment options for osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating condition that commonly affects individuals over the age of 60. While aging is often a common cause, it is not the only one. Traumatic injuries and joint overuse can also play a part in the formation. OA lesions are not easily identified in the early stages of the disease, and treatment options are limited. There is no targeted delivery for drugs and biologics.

The purpose of Dr. Cho’s research is to develop a drug delivery system using very small packets, called nanosomes, to enclose drugs and a fluorescent dye to repair damaged cartilage in the knee. While the dye does not repair knee cartilage, it helps to find damaged area on cartilage surface and can help monitor progression after treatment. The research team is testing a therapeutic drug called TPCA-1, that will hypothetically hinder the activation of the main controller of induced inflammation in the body, called the NFkB pathway, reducing pain and inflammation that can lead to osteoarthritis.

“We will use our previously established non-invasive model that utilizes repetitive added resistance on the knee,” said Dr. Cho. “Our study will provide a new way to develop effective and safe therapeutics for OA. It has the potential to aide in early diagnosis of this issue.”

The award will support the project titled, “A Novel Method of Detecting and Treating in Early PTOA Using Smart Nanosome.”

The Arthritis Foundation is dedicated to researching, advocating and spreading information about arthritis with the goal of finding a long-term cure. For more information, visit www.arthritis.org.