Nanoparticle-and liposome-carried drugs: New strategies for active targeting and drug delivery across blood-brain barrier

Martha Leonor Pinzón-Daza, Ivana Campia, Joanna Kopecka, Ruth Garzón, Dario Ghigo, Chiara Riganti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


The blood-brain barrier (BBB), the unusual microvascular endothelial interface between the central nervous system (CNS) and the circulatory system, is a major hindrance to drug delivery in the brain parenchyma. Besides the absence of fenestrations and the abundance of tight junctions, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters critically reduce drug entry within the CNS, as they carry many drugs back into the bloodstream. Nanoparticle-and liposome-carried drugs, because of their increased cellular uptake and reduced efflux through ABC transporters, have been developed in recent times to circumvent the low drug permeability of the BBB. This review discusses the role of ABC transporters in controlling drug penetration into the brain parenchyma, the rationale for using nanoparticle-and liposome-based strategies to increase drug delivery across the BBB and new therapeutic strategies for using nanoparticle-and liposome-carried drugs in different conditions, ranging from CNS tumors and neurodegenerative diseases to viral infections and epilepsy. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-640
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Drug Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

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