Delivery of therapeutics for the treatment of disorders of the brain is limited by the BBB. NPs offer the best prospect for systemic delivery of drugs and facilitate delivery through the BBB without forcibly opening or damaging it. NPs offer the possibility of combining diagnosis with therapeutics. The aim of NP formulations is not merely the uncontrolled passage of drugs through the BBB but controlled and targeted delivery. Most of the strategies using nanobiotechnology are still experimental and a few have been used in human patients, particularly in the treatment of malignant brain tumors. Because of variations in cerebral blood flow and BBB with age and disease, any universal method of drug delivery to the brain is unlikely to be suitable for all cases. Among various NPs, biocompatible polymer NPs are the safest and most versatile vehicles for drug delivery to the brain. There are still some limitations and further investigations are currently in progress.
Nanomedicine. 2012;7(8):1225-1233. © 2012 Future Medicine Ltd.