Development and evaluation of olanzapine-loaded PLGA nanoparticles for nose-to-brain delivery: in vitro and in vivo studies

Acta Biomater. 2011 Dec;7(12):4169-76. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2011.07.025. Epub 2011 Jul 30.


Olanzapine (OZ) is a second-generation or atypical antipsychotic which selectively binds to central dopamine D₂ and serotonin (5-HT(2c)) receptors. It has poor bioavailability due to hepatic first-pass metabolism and low permeability into the brain due to efflux by P-glycoproteins. The present investigation aimed to prepare a nanoparticulate drug delivery system of OZ using poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) for direct nose-to-brain delivery to provide brain targeting and sustained release. PLGA nanoparticles (NP) were prepared by the nanoprecipitation technique and characterized by entrapment efficiency, particle size, zeta potential, modulated temperature differential scanning calorimetry (MTDSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies. The NP were evaluated for in vitro release, ex vivo diffusion, toxicity and pharmacokinetic studies. The NP were 91.2±5.2 nm in diameter and had entrapment efficiency 68.91±2.31%. MTDSC studies indicated broadening of the drug peak and a shift in the polymer peak, possibly due to physical interaction or H-bonding between the carbonyl groups of PLGA and the NH groups of OZ, and also due to the plasticization effect of OZ on PLGA. XRD studies indicated a decrease in the crystallinity of OZ or amorphization. In vitro drug release showed a biphasic pattern with initial burst release and, later, sustained release (43.26±0.156% after 120 h), following the Fickian diffusion-based release mechanism. Ex vivo diffusion through sheep nasal mucosa showed 13.21±1.59% of drug diffusion in 210 min from NP. Histopathological study of sheep nasal mucosa showed no significant adverse effect of OZ-loaded NP. In vivo pharmacokinetic studies showed 6.35 and 10.86 times higher uptake of intranasally delivered NP than OZ solution delivered through intravenous (IV) and intranasal (IN) route, respectively. These results proved that OZ could be transported directly to the brain after IN delivery of PLGA NP, enhanced drug concentration in the brain and would therefore be effective in improving the treatment of central nervous system disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Benzodiazepines / administration & dosage*
  • Benzodiazepines / pharmacology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lactic Acid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Nasal Cavity*
  • Olanzapine
  • Particle Size
  • Polyglycolic Acid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Olanzapine