Polysorbate 80 Coated Gold Nanoparticle as a Drug Carrier for Brain Targeting in Zebrafish Model

  • Kalaiarasi Sivaji
  • Rajaretinam Rajesh KannanEmail author
Original Paper


The development of biocompatible and promising drug delivery system is needed to enhance drug carrier to cross the blood–brain barrier to treat neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of the present study is to address colloidal gold nanoparticle functionalized with polysorbate 80 and Poly Ethylene Glycol, capabilities to overcome the blood–brain barrier for diagnostics and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The size of the gold nanoparticles ranges between 70 and 90 nm with monodispersity. The gold nanoparticle conjugated with Donepezil (GNPD) was confirmed and increased acetylcholinesterase inhibition activity of 30–38% was observed in the zebrafish brain. GNPD exhibited increased retention of gold nanoparticle in the brain with an increased particle concentration of 52% in day 1 and 21.74% on day 15. Behavioral analysis of colloidal gold nanoparticle treated zebrafish showed freezing and tremor swim pattern, while the GNPD treated zebrafish acquiesce with untreated zebrafish. Histological sections of colloidal gold nanoparticle treated zebrafish brain showed focal aggregation of cells in pia matter, while GNPD remained similar to the native zebrafish brain section. Thus, a possible biocompatible nanocarrier that can cross the blood–brain barrier and deliver the drug in the brain has been synthesized and validated.


Colloidal gold nanoparticle Acetylcholinesterase Donepezil Zebrafish brain histology 



Central nucleus of inferior lobe


Diffuse nucleus of inferior lobe


Gold nanoparticles


Gold nanoparticles with donepezil


Periventricular Gray zone


Lateral torus



Our sincere thanks to Dr. T. Y. Suman and Dr. Radhika Rajasree S. R., for their technical support on ICPMS facility of Centre for Ocean Research, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology. Special thanks to Dr. Suraiya Saleem (DBT-RA) for the diligent proofreading of this article.


This work was supported by Department of Biotechnology, India under research Grants No. BT/Bio-CARe/04/10082/2013-14 and BT/PR6765/NNT/28/618/2012.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular and Nanomedicine Research Unit, Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, School of Chemical and BioengineeringSathyabama Institute of Science and Technology (Deemed to be University)ChennaiIndia

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