Author(s): Jain KK
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Abstract The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is meant to protect the brain from noxious agents; however, it also significantly hinders the delivery of therapeutics to the brain. Several strategies have been employed to deliver drugs across this barrier and some of these may do structural damage to the BBB by forcibly opening it to allow the uncontrolled passage of drugs. The ideal method for transporting drugs across the BBB should be controlled and should not damage the barrier. Among the various approaches that are available, nanobiotechnology-based delivery methods provide the best prospects for achieving this ideal. This review describes various nanoparticle (NP)-based methods used for drug delivery to the brain and the known underlying mechanisms. Some strategies require multifunctional NPs combining controlled passage across the BBB with targeted delivery of the therapeutic cargo to the intended site of action in the brain. An important application of nanobiotechnology is to facilitate the delivery of drugs and biological therapeutics for brain tumors across the BBB. Although there are currently some limitations and concerns for the potential neurotoxicity of NPs, the future prospects for NP-based therapeutic delivery to the brain are excellent.
This article was published in Nanomedicine (Lond)
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Biotherapeutic Discovery