New Drug Delivery System Could Get Meds to the Brain
The blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain and spinal cord from harmful substances in the blood, can make it more difficult—and more risky—to deliver potentially life-saving medications directly to the brain. Researchers from Washington University are developing a new delivery system that could one day improve the ability of medical professionals to get drugs to the brain.
According to researchers, the shortest path to the brain is through the nose. The new delivery system—a nanoparticle nasal spray—could allow medicine to reach the brain quickly—in less than one hour—and accurately, with just a sniff.
Researchers tested the system in locusts because the insects' blood-brain barrier is anatomically similar to humans'. They discovered that nanoparticles tagged with fluorescent markers to allow them to be identified and tracked travelled up the olfactory nerves and—because of their size—were able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
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