DOI: 10.1002/smll.202307595 ISSN: 1613-6810

Breaking Osteoclast‐Acid Vicious Cycle to Rescue Osteoporosis via an Acid Responsive Organic Framework‐Based Neutralizing and Gene Editing Platform

Wenzheng Lin, Sihan Hu, Ke Li, Yu Shi, Chun Pan, Zhuobin Xu, Dandan Li, Huihui Wang, Bin Li, Hao Chen
  • Biomaterials
  • Biotechnology
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemistry


In the osteoporotic microenvironment, the acidic microenvironment generated by excessive osteoclasts not only causes irreversible bone mineral dissolution, but also promotes reactive oxygen species (ROS) production to induce osteoblast senescence and excessive receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa‐B ligand (RANKL) production, which help to generate more osteoclasts. Hence, targeting the acidic microenvironment and RANKL production may break this vicious cycle to rescue osteoporosis. To achieve this, an acid‐responsive and neutralizing system with high in vivo gene editing capacity is developed by loading sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) and RANKL‐CRISPR/Cas9 (RC) plasmid in a metal–organic framework. This results showed ZIF8‐NaHCO3@Cas9 (ZNC) effective neutralized acidic microenvironment and inhibited ROS production . Surprisingly, nanoparticles loaded with NaHCO3 and plasmids show higher transfection efficiency in the acidic environments as compared to the ones loaded with plasmid only. Finally, micro‐CT proves complete reversal of bone volume in ovariectomized mice after ZNC injection into the bone remodeling site. Overall, the newly developed nanoparticles show strong effect in neutralizing the acidic microenvironment to achieve bone protection through promoting osteogenesis and inhibiting osteolysis in a bidirectional manner. This study provides new insights into the treatment of osteoporosis for biomedical and clinical therapies.

More from our Archive