Article by Disease on “Neuroscience”
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a physiological regulator of transport of essential items from blood to brain for the maintenance of homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS) within narrow limits. The BBB is also responsible for export of harmful or metabolic products from brain to blood to keep the CNS fluid microenvironment healthy. However, noxious insults to the brain caused by trauma, ischemia or environmental/chemical toxins alter the BBB function to small as well as large molecules e.g., proteins. When proteins enter the CNS fluid microenvironment, development of brain edema occurs due to altered osmotic balance between blood and brain. On the other hand, almost all neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic insults to the CNS and subsequent BBB dysfunction lead to edema formation and cell injury. To treat these brain disorders suitable drug therapy reaching their brain targets is needed. However, due to edema formation or only a focal disruption of the BBB e.g., around brain tumors, many drugs are unable to reach their CNS targets in sufficient quantity. This results in poor therapeutic outcome. Thus, new technology such as nanodelivery is needed for drugs to reach their CNS targets and be effective. In this review, use of nanowires as a possible novel tool to enhance drug delivery into the CNS in various disease models is discussed based on our investigations. These data show that nanowired delivery of drugs may have superior neuroprotective ability to treat several CNS diseases effectively indicating their role in future therapeutic strategies.