Nanobiotechnology-Based Strategies for Crossing the Blood–Brain Barrier

Kewal K Jain


Nanomedicine. 2012;7(8):1225-1233. 

In This Article

The Ideal Method of Therapeutic Delivery Across the BBB

An ideal method for the delivery of therapeutics across the BBB should have the following characteristics:

  • It should be controlled;

  • It should not damage the barrier;

  • The carrier system should be biodegradable and not toxic;

  • Transport of drugs across the BBB should be selective;

  • Systemic delivery should be targeted to the BBB and the site of intended action in the brain;

  • The drug load transported through the BBB should be adequate for reaching therapeutic concentrations in the brain;

  • Therapeutic concentrations should be maintained for a sufficient duration of time for the desired efficacy.

Among the various approaches that are available, nanobiotechnology-based delivery methods provide the best prospects for achieving this ideal. For crossing the BBB, the drugs should preferably be introduced into the circulation by intravenous injection as the use of routes of delivery such as transmucosal, transdermal and pulmonary involve crossing other barriers and the quantity of nano–drug complex presenting at the BBB would be uncertain.