Polymeric nanoparticles assembled with microfluidics for drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier
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- Tavares, M., de Menezes, L., do Nascimento, D. et al. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. (2016) 225: 779. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2015-50266-2
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The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a challenge in the treatment of some diseases, since it prevents many drugs from reaching therapeutic concentrations in the brain. In this context, there is a growing interest in nanoparticles for drug delivery, since they are able to cross this barrier and target the brain. The use of polymeric materials in the development of these nanoparticles has been extensively studied. It has already been demonstrated that these nanosystems have the ability to cross the BBB, which allows effective drug release into the brain. Biodegradable polymers provide a great advantage in the development of nanosystems, but modifications of the nanoparticles’ surface is essential. The traditional batch methods lack precise control over the processes of nucleation and growth, resulting in poor control over final properties of the nanoparticles. Therefore, microfluidics could be used to achieve a better production environment for the fabrication of nano- structured drug delivery systems. This study provides a brief review of: the BBB, the polymeric nanoparticles with the ability to overcome the barrier, the properties of the most used polymeric matrices, and the nanostructured drug delivery systems assembled with microfluidics.