Author(s): Re F, Gregori M, Masserini M
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Abstract The efficacy, cellular uptake and specific transport of drugs and/or imaging agents to target organs, tissues and cells are common issues in the diagnosis and treatment of different disorders. In the case of neurodegenerative diseases, they represent complex problems, since brain targeting remains a still unsolved challenge in pharmacology, due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier, a tightly packed layer of endothelial cells that prevents unwanted substances to enter the brain. Engineered nanomaterials, objects with dimensions of 1-100 nm, are providing interesting biomedical tools potentially able to solve these problems, thanks to their physico-chemical features and to the possibility of multi-functionalization, allowing to confer them different features at the same time, including the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This review focuses on the state-of-the-art of nanomaterials suitable for therapy and diagnostic imaging of the most common neurodegenerative disorders, as well as for neuroprotection and neuronal tissue regeneration. Finally, their potential neurotoxicity is discussed, and future nanotechnological approaches are described. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Maturitas
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology