American Journal of Drug Delivery

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 13–26 | Cite as

Brain-Targeted Drug Delivery

Experiences to Date
Healthcare Technology Review


Because the brain is tightly segregated from the circulating blood by a unique membranous barrier, the blood-brain barrier (BBB), many pharmaceuticals cannot be efficiently delivered to, or sustained within the brain; hence, they are ineffective in treating cerebral diseases. Therefore, drug delivery methods that can provide brain delivery, or eventually preferential brain delivery (i.e. brain targeting), are of particular interest.

To achieve successful delivery, an understanding of the major structural, enzymatic, and active transport aspects related to the BBB, and of the issues related to lipophilicity and its role in CNS entry, is critical. During the last years, considerable effort was focused in the field of brain-targeted drug delivery. Various more or less sophisticated approaches, such as intracerebral delivery, intracerebroventricular delivery, intranasal delivery, BBB disruption, nanoparticles, receptor mediated transport (vector-mediated transport or ‘chimeric’ peptides), cell-penetrating peptides, prodrugs, and chemical delivery systems, have been attempted. These approaches may offer many intriguing possibilities for brain delivery and targeting, but only some have reached the phase where they can provide safe and effective human applications. Site-target indexing and the use of targeting enhancement factors can be used to quantitatively assess the site-targeting effectiveness from a pharmacokinetic perspective of chemical delivery systems.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IVAX Research IncMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Center for Drug DiscoveryUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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