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Pharm Res. 2003 Nov;20(11):1772-8.

In situ blood-brain barrier transport of nanoparticles.

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Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0082, USA.



Two novel types of nanoparticles were evaluated as poten tial carriers for drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB).


Nanoparticles were composed of biocompatible materials including emulsifying wax (E. Wax) or Brij 72. Brij 78 and Tween 80 were used as surfactants for E. Wax nanoparticles (E78 NPs) and Brij 72 nanoparticles (E72 NPs), respectively. Both nanoparticle formulations were prepared from warm microemulsion precursors usin melted E. Wax or Brij 72 as the oil phase. Nanoparticles were radio-labeled by entrapment of [3H]cetyl alcohol, and entrapment efficiency and release of radiolabel were evaluated. The transport of E78 and E72 NPs across the BBB was measured by an in situ rat brai perfusion method.


Both formulations were successfully radiolabeled by entrapment of [3H]cetyl alcohol; -98% of radiolabel remained associated with nanoparticles at experimental conditions. The transfer rate (Kin) of E78 NPs from perfusion fluid into the brain was 4.1 +/- 0.5 x 10(-3) ml/s/g, and the permeability-surface area product (PA) was 4.3 +/- 0.7 x 10(-3) ml/s/g. The values for Kin and PA for E72 NPs were 5.7 +/- 1.1 x 10(-3) ml/s/g and 6.1 +/- 1.4 x 10(-3) ml/s/g, respectively.


For both nanoparticle types, statistically significant uptake was observed compared to [14C]sucrose, suggesting central nervous system uptake of nanoparticles. The mechanism underlying th nanoparticle brain uptake has yet to be fully understood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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