Tadpole-Like Anisotropic Polymer/Lipid Janus Nanoparticles for Nose-to-Brain Drug Delivery: Importance of Geometry, Elasticity on Mucus-Penetration Ability

Mol Pharm. 2024 Feb 5;21(2):633-650. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.3c00773. Epub 2024 Jan 2.


Asymmetric geometry (aspect ratio >1), moderate stiffness (i.e., semielasticity), large surface area, and low mucoadhesion of nanoparticles are the main features to reach the brain by penetrating across the nasal mucosa. Herein, a new application has been presented for the use of multifunctional Janus nanoparticles (JNPs) with controllable geometry and size as a nose-to-brain (N2B) delivery system by changing proportions of Precirol ATO 5 and polycaprolactone compartments and other operating conditions. To bring to light the N2B application of JNPs, the results are presented in comparison with polymer and solid lipid nanoparticles, which are frequently used in the literature regarding their biopharmaceutical aspects: mucoadhesion and permeability through the nasal mucosa. The morphology and geometry of JPs were observed via cryogenic-temperature transmission electron microscopy images, and their particle sizes were verified by dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Although all NPs showed penetration across the mucus barrier, the best increase in penetration was observed with asymmetric and semielastic JNPs, which have low interaction ability with the mucus layer. This study presents a new and promising field of application for a multifunctional system suitable for N2B delivery, potentially benefiting the treatment of brain tumors and other central nervous system diseases.

Keywords: Janus particles; anisotropic geometry; dual-drug delivery; elasticity; mucus penetration; nose-to-brain delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Elasticity
  • Larva
  • Lipids
  • Liposomes*
  • Mucus
  • Multifunctional Nanoparticles*
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Nasal Mucosa
  • Polymers


  • Lipid Nanoparticles
  • Polymers
  • Lipids
  • Liposomes