Affiliation: Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Punjabi University, Patiala - 147 002, India.
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) presents a combination of physical and electrostatic barriers. It is a highly complex structure that tightly regulates the movement of molecules from the blood to brain, protecting it from injuries and diseases. However, the BBB also significantly precludes the delivery of drugs to the brain, thus, preventing the therapy of a number of neurological disorders like brain cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia etc. Numerous drug delivery strategies have been developed to circumvent this barrier. Out of those, one popular approach is the use of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles form solid, colloidal drug delivery system that consists of macromolecular materials in which the active principle is dissolved, entrapped or encapsulated or onto which the active principle is adsorbed or attached. Brain targeted polymeric nanoparticles have been found to increase the therapeutic efficacy and reduce the toxicity for a large number of drugs. By coating the nanoparticles with surfactants, higher concentrations of the drugs can be delivered. The article presents various approaches used in design and delivery of nanoparticles to brain. It also reviews various patents that describe the use of nanoparticles to deliver various neurotherapeutics to brain.