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Nanoparticles and Blood-Brain Barrier: The Key to Central Nervous System Diseases

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Major central nervous system disorders represent a significant and worldwide public health problem. In fact, the therapeutic success of many pharmaceuticals developed to treat central nervous system diseases is still moderate, since the blood-brain barrier (BBB) limits the access of systemically administered compounds to the brain. Therefore, they require the application of a large total dose of a drug, and cause numerous toxic effects. The development of nanotechnological systems are useful tools to deliver therapeutics and/or diagnostic probes to the brain due to nanocarriers having the potential to improve the therapeutic effect of drugs and to reduce their side effects. This review provides a brief overview of the variety of carriers employed for central nervous system drug and diagnostic probes delivery. Further, this paper focuses on the novel nanocarriers developed to enhance brain delivery across the blood-brain barrier. Special attention is paid to liposomes, micelles, polymeric and lipid-based nanoparticles, dendrimers and carbon nanotubes. The recent developments in nanocarrier implementation through size/charge optimization and surface modifications (PEGylation, targeting delivery, and coating with surfactants) have been discussed. And a detailed description of the nanoscaled pharmaceutical delivery devices employed for the treatment of central nervous system disorders have also been defined. The aim of the review is to evaluate the nanotechnology-based drug delivery strategies to treat different central nervous system disorders.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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