Biodegradable Nanoparticles for Delivery of Therapeutics in CNS Infection

J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2017 Mar;12(1):31-50. doi: 10.1007/s11481-016-9692-7. Epub 2016 Jul 2.


Despite the significant advances in neurological medicine, it remains difficult to treat ailments directly involving the brain. The blood brain barrier (BBB) is a tightly regulated, selectively permeable barrier that restricts access from the blood into the brain extracellular fluid (BEF). Many conditions such as tumors or infections in the brain are difficult to treat due to the fact that drugs and other therapeutic agents are unable to easily pass through this relatively impermeable barrier. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) presents a particular problem as it is able to remain dormant in the brain for years protected from antiretroviral drugs by the BBB. The development of nanoscale carriers over the past few decades has made possible the delivery of therapies with the potential to overcome membrane barriers and provide specific, targeted delivery. This review seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the various aspects of nanoparticle formulation and their applications in improving the delivery efficiency of drugs, specifically antiretroviral therapeutics to the brain to treat HIV.

Keywords: CNS; Drug delivery; Exosomes; HIV; Nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / drug effects*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System Infections / drug therapy*
  • Central Nervous System Infections / metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Nanoparticles / metabolism