Nanostructure-based drug delivery systems for brain targeting

Shadabul Haque, Shadab Md, Md Intekhab Alam, Jasjeet K. Sahni, Javed Ali, Sanjula Baboota

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Context: It is well-known fact that blood brain barrier (BBB) hinders the penetrance and access of many pharmacotherapeutic agents to central nervous system (CNS). Many diseases of the CNS remain undertreated and the inability to treat most CNS disorders is not due to the lack of effective CNS drug discovery, rather, it is due to the ineffective CNS delivery. Therefore, a number of nanostructured drug delivery carriers have been developed and explored over the past couple of years to transport the drugs to brain. Objective: The present review will give comprehensive details of extensive research being done in field of nanostructured carriers to transport the drugs through the BBB in a safe and effective manner. Methods: The method includes both the polymeric- and lipid-based nanocarriers with emphasis on their utility, methodology, advantages, and the drugs which have been worked on using a particular approach to provide a noninvasive method to improve the drug transport through BBB. Results: Polymeric- and lipid-based nanocarriers enter brain capillaries before reaching the surface of the brain microvascular endothelial cells without the disruption of BBB. These systems are further modified with specific ligands vectors and pegylation aiming to target and enhance their binding with surface receptors of the specific tissues inside brain and increase long circulatory time which favors interaction and penetration into brain endothelial cells. Conclusion: This review would give an insight to the researchers working on neurodegenerative and non-neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS including brain tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-411
Number of pages25
JournalDrug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain targeting
  • Dendrimer
  • Drug transporters
  • Nanocarriers
  • Polymeric micelle

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