Nanotechnology for diagnosis and therapy of rheumatoid arthritis: Evolution towards theranostic approaches

Junkai Zhao, Xuan Chen, Kwun Hei Ho, Chao Cai, Cheuk Wing Li, Mo Yang, Changqing Yi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as a chronic autoimmune disease, damages the bone and cartilage of patients, and even leads to disability. Therefore, the diagnosis and treatment of RA is particularly important. However, due to the complexity of RA, it is difficult to make effective early diagnosis of RA, which is detrimental to RA treatment. Besides, long-term intake of anti-RA drugs can also cause damage to patients’ organs. The emergence of nanotechnology provides the new train of thoughts for the diagnosis and treatment of RA. And the combination of diagnosis and therapy is an ideal method to solve the problem of disease management of RA patients. In this review, we summarize the mechanism and microenvironment of RA, discuss the commonly used diagnostic techniques and therapeutic drugs for RA, and review their advantages and disadvantages. New nanotherapy strategies such as drug-carrying nanoparticles, PTT, PDT are listed, and their applications in RA treatment are also summarized. In addition, multimodal imaging, combined therapy and responsive diagnosis and treatment are also summarized as important contents. At last, we also review typical nanocarriers that can be used in the integration of diagnosis and therapy, and discussed their potential applications in RA theranostics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-86
Number of pages21
JournalChinese Chemical Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Diagnosis
  • Nanomedicine
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Theranostics
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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