Journal Articles

Strategies for transporting nanoparticles across the blood–brain barrier

December 08, 2015

Strategies for transporting nanoparticles across the blood–brain barrier, Biomaterials Science. 2015. Tian-Tian Zhang (a); Wen Li (B); Guanmin Meng (C); Pei Wang (D); Wenzhen Liao (A).

Author Affiliations

A. Department of Food Science and Technology, South China University of Technology
B. IHRC, Inc.
C. Department of Clinical Laboratory, Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province
D. Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Research Campus


The existence of blood–brain barrier (BBB) hampers the effective treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases. Almost all macromolecular drugs and more than 98% of small molecule drugs cannot pass the BBB. Therefore, the BBB remains a big challenge for delivery of therapeutics to the central nervous system. With the structural and mechanistic elucidation of the BBB under both physiological and pathological conditions, it is now possible to design delivery systems that could cross the BBB effectively. Because of their advantageous properties, nanoparticles have been widely deployed for brain-targeted delivery. This review paper presents the current understanding of the BBB under physiological and pathological conditions, and summarizes strategies and systems for BBB crossing with a focus on nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems. In summary, with wider applications and broader prospection the treatment of brain targeted therapy, nano-medicines have proved to be more potent, more specific and less toxic than traditional drug therapy.

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