Nanotechnology and antioxidant therapy: an emerging approach for neurodegenerative diseases

Curr Med Chem. 2014;21(38):4311-27. doi: 10.2174/0929867321666140915141836.


The efficacy, cellular uptake and specific transport of dietary antioxidants to target organs, tissues and cells remains the most important setback for their application in the treatment of oxidative-stress related disorders and in particular in neurodegenerative diseases, as brain targeting remains a still unsolved challenge. Nanotechnology based delivery systems can be a solution for the above mentioned problems, specifically in the case of targeting dietary antioxidants with neuroprotective activity. Nanotechnology-based delivery systems can protect antioxidants from degradation, improve their physicochemical drug-like properties and in turn their bioavailability. The impact of nanomedicine in the improvement of the performance of dietary antioxidants, as protective agents in oxidative- stress events, specifically through the use of drug delivery systems, is highlighted in this review as well as the type of nanomaterials regularly used for drug delivery purposes. From the data one can conclude that the research combining (dietary) antioxidants and nanotechnology, namely as a therapeutic solution for neurodegenerative diseases, is still in a very early stage. So, a huge research area remains to be explored that hopefully will yield new and effective neuroprotective therapeutic agents in a foreseeable future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Biological Products / administration & dosage
  • Biological Products / chemistry
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Nanomedicine / trends
  • Nanotechnology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biological Products
  • Drug Carriers