Development of Biomedical Hydrogels for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Mirza Muhammad Faran Ashraf Baig, Lee Ki Wong, Abdul Wasy Zia, Hongkai Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that hinders the normal functioning of bones and joints and reduces the quality of human life. Every year, millions of people are diagnosed with RA worldwide, particularly among elderly individuals and women. Therefore, there is a global need to develop new biomaterials, medicines and therapeutic methods for treating RA. This will improve the Healthcare Access and Quality Index and also relieve administrative and financial burdens on healthcare service providers at a global scale. Hydrogels are soft and cross-linked polymeric materials that can store a chunk of fluids, drugs and biomolecules for hydration and therapeutic applications. Hydrogels are biocompatible and exhibit excellent mechanical properties, such as providing elastic cushions to articulating joints by mimicking the natural synovial fluid. Hence, hydrogels create a natural biological environment within the synovial cavity to reduce autoimmune reactions and friction. Hydrogels also lubricate the articulating joint surfaces to prevent degradation of synovial surfaces of bones and cartilage, thus exhibiting high potential for treating RA. This work reviews the progress in injectable and implantable hydrogels, synthesis methods, types of drugs, advantages and challenges. Additionally, it discusses the role of hydrogels in targeted drug delivery, mechanistic behaviour and tribological performance for RA treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100887
JournalAsian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date5 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Hydrogel
  • Mechanical properties
  • Medicine
  • Orthopeadic joints
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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