The next big things are tiny

The Lancet Neurology (Impact Factor: 21.9). 01/2013; 12(1):31-2. DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(12)70313-7
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: The central nervous system, one of the most delicate microenvironments of the body, is protected by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) regulating its homeostasis. BBB is a highly complex structure that tightly regulates the movement of ions of a limited number of small molecules and of an even more restricted number of macromolecules from the blood to the brain, protecting it from injuries and diseases. However, the BBB also significantly precludes the delivery of drugs to the brain, thus, preventing the therapy of a number of neurological disorders. As a consequence, several strategies are currently being sought after to enhance the delivery of drugs across the BBB. Within this review, the recently born strategy of brain drug delivery based on the use of nanoparticles, multifunctional drug delivery systems with size in the order of one-billionth of meters, is described. The review also includes a brief description of the structural and physiological features of the barrier and of the most utilized nanoparticles for medical use. Finally, the potential neurotoxicity of nanoparticles is discussed, and future technological approaches are described. The strong efforts to allow the translation from preclinical to concrete clinical applications are worth the economic investments.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Transport of PEGylated silica nanoparticles (PSiNPs) with diameters of 100 nm, 50 nm and 25 nm across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) was evaluated using an in vitro BBB model based on mouse cerebral endothelial cells (bEnd.3) cultured on transwell inserts within a chamber. In vivo animal experiments were further performed by noninvasive in vivo imaging and ex vivo optical imaging after injection via carotid artery. Confocal fluorescence studies were carried out in order to evaluate the uptake of PSiNPs by brain endothelial cells. The results showed that PSiNPs can traverse the BBB in vitro and in vivo. The transport efficiency of PSiNPs across BBB was found to be size-dependent, with increased particle size resulting in decreased efficiency. This work points to the potential application of small sized silica nanoparticles in brain imaging or drug delivery.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: In the last decade, nanotechnology has been extensively introduced for biomedical applications, including bio-detection, drug delivery and diagnostic imaging, particularly in the field of cancer diagnostics and treatment. However, there is a growing trend towards the expansion of nanobiotechnological tools in a number of non-cancer applications. In this review, we discuss the emerging uses of nanotechnology in reproductive medicine and reproductive biology. For the first time, we summarise the available evidence regarding the use of nanomaterials as experimental tools for the detection and treatment of malignant and benign reproductive conditions. We also present an overview of potential applications for nanomaterials in reproductive biology, discuss the benefits and concerns associated with their use in a highly delicate system of reproductive tissues and gametes, and address the feasibility of this innovative and potentially controversial approach in the clinical setting and for investigative research into the mechanisms underlying reproductive diseases. From the clinical editor: This unique review paper focuses on the emerging use of nanotechnology in reproductive medicine and reproductive biology, highlighting the role of nanomaterials in the detection and treatment of various reproductive conditions, keeping in mind the benefits and potential concerns associated with nanomaterial use in the delicate system of reproductive tissue and gametes.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Nanomedicine: nanotechnology, biology, and medicine
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