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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2011 Jan;118(1):145-53. doi: 10.1007/s00702-010-0497-1. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

NIR-labeled nanoparticles engineered for brain targeting: in vivo optical imaging application and fluorescent microscopy evidences.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 183, 41100 Modena, Italy.


The presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) makes extremely difficult to develop efficacious strategies for targeting contrast agents and delivering drugs inside the Central Nervous System (CNS). To overcome this drawback, several kinds of CNS-targeted nanoparticles (NPs) have been developed. In particular, we proposed poly-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) NPs engineered with a simil-opioid glycopeptide (g7), which have already proved to be a promising tool for achieving a successful brain targeting after i.v. administration in rats. In order to obtain CNS-targeted NPs to use for in vivo imaging, we synthesized and administrated in mice PLGA NPs with double coverage: near-infrared (NIR) probe (DY-675) and g7. The optical imaging clearly showed a brain localization of these novel NPs. Thus, a novel kind of NIR-labeled NPs were obtained, providing a new, in vivo detectable nanotechnology tool. Besides, the confocal and fluorescence microscopy evidences allowed to further confirm the ability of g7 to promote not only the rat, but also the mouse BBB crossing.

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