Polymeric nanoparticles for nasal drug delivery to the brain: relevance to Alzheimer's disease

Navid Rabiee, Sepideh Ahmadi, Ronak Afshari, Samira Khalaji, Mohammad Rabiee, Mojtaba Bagherzadeh, Yousef Fatahi, Rassoul Dinarvand, Mohammadreza Tahriri*, Lobat Tayebi, Michael R. Hamblin, Thomas J. Webster*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, Alzheimer's disease (AD) accounts for more than half of all dementia cases. Although genetics, age, and environmental factors affect the disease, the cause of AD is not yet fully known. Various drugs have been proposed for the prevention and treatment of AD, but the delivery of these therapeutic agents to the brain is difficult. The blood–brain barrier prevents systemic drugs from accessing the central nervous system and designing a suitable system to overcome this barrier has attracted much attention. The intranasal pathway, given its proximity to the brain, provides a great opportunity for drug delivery. Understanding the physiological characteristics of the nose can be useful in selecting the appropriate carrier and material. Some of the emerging vehicles used for nose-to-brain delivery of anti-AD drugs are natural (such as chitosan) and polymeric (such as poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and polyethylene glycol) nanoparticles (NPs). This review discusses the hypotheses for AD pathogenesis and highlights recent advances in the applications of natural and polymeric NPs for treatment. The fundamental and applied aspects of this approach for nasal drug delivery to the brain are reviewed here with thoughts on what is needed for the field to mature also provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000076
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalAdvanced Therapeutics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • blood–brain barrier
  • chitosan
  • intranasal drug delivery
  • poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)
  • polymeric nanoparticles


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  • Novel nanocarriers for drug delivery applications

    Rabiee, N., Ghadiri, A. M., Safarkhani, M., Fatahi, Y., Kiani, M., Ahmadi, S., Mozafari, M., Saeb, M. R., Makvandi, P., Hamblin, M. R., Varma, R. S., Rabiee, M., Mostafavi, E., Zarrintaj, P., Hamed Mashhadzadeh, A., Tahriri, M., Tayebi, L. & Shokouhimehr, M.

    10/09/18 → …

    Project: Research

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