Ultrasound-targeted nanoparticle delivery across the blood-brain barrier
- Richard Price1
© Price; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015
Published: 30 June 2015
The delivery of systemically administered drugs and genes to the CNS is hindered by both the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which limits transport from the bloodstream to the brain to only a few privileged molecules, and the nanoporous electrostatically charged tissue space, denoted here as the “brain tissue barrier” (BTB). Our group engineers targeted drug and gene delivery approaches, capable of overcoming both of these physical barriers, for the treatment of brain tumors and neurodegenerative diseases. We focus on nanoparticle (NP) delivery systems, as they offer the potential for enhanced transfection efficiencies and controlled-drug release.
To deliver drug- and gene-bearing NPs across the BBB, we use focused ultrasound (FUS) and contrast agent microbubbles (MBs). FUS may be applied using either MR-guidance or with a simple table-top system. We and others have shown that activating MBs with FUS yields safe and transient BBB opening in the FUS focal zone. Technologies for overcoming the BTB center on coating the drug and gene bearing NPs with an extremely dense brush layer of polyethylene glycol (PEG). NPs are injected at the time of BBB opening to permit their delivery to the CNS.
Results and conclusions
Supported by NIH CA164789, NIH EB016784, and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
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