Development of Design Principles for Targeted Delivery of Metal Nanoparticles through the Blood Brain Barrier
Abstract: A critical problem in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is the incapability to overcome the restrictive mechanism of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and to deliver important therapeutic agents to the brain. During the last decade nanoparticles have gained attention as promising drug delivery agents that can transport through the BBB, mainly via receptor-mediated endocytosis by the brain capillary endothelial cells. Recently, several studies have demonstrated that specifically targeted nanoparticles which carry a large payload of therapeutic agents can effectively enhance therapeutic agent delivery to the brain. However, it is difficult to draw definite design principles across these studies, owing to the differences in material, size, shape and targeting agents of the nanoparticles. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to develop general design principles that link the size, chemical coating and targeting agents with the probability to cross the BBB. We will investigate the effect of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) of diverse sizes and coating materials on ability to cross the BBB. Our preliminary results demonstrate a promising approach for an effective drug delivery into the brain.
*This work was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Rachela Popovtzer, Faculty of Engineering, Bar Ilan University.