Nanoparticles in the treatment and diagnosis of neurological disorders:
untamed dragon with fire power to heal
Jagat R. Kanwar, PhD
, Xueying Sun, PhD
, Vasu Punj, PhD
Bhasker Sriramoju, MPharma
, Rajiv R. Mohan, PhD
, Shu-Feng Zhou, PhD
Ashok Chauhan, PhD
, Rupinder K. Kanwar, PhD
Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research (LIMBR), Centre for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Biosciences (BioDeakin),
Institute for Technology & Research Innovation, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Hepatosplenic Surgery Center, Department of General Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China
Department of Molecular Medicine & Pathology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
USC Epigenome Center and Division of Hematology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
Mason Eye Institute, University of Missouri–Columbia, and Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital, Columbia, Missouri, USA
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Received 3 March 2011; accepted 13 August 2011
The incidence of neurological diseases of unknown etiology is increasing, including well-studied diseases such as Alzhiemer's, Parkinson's,
and multiple sclerosis. The blood-brain barrier provides protection for the brain but also hinders the treatment and diagnosis of these
neurological diseases, because the drugs must cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the lesions. Thus, attention has turned to developing novel
and effective delivery systems that are capable of carrying drug and that provide good bioavailability in the brain. Nanoneurotechnology,
particularly application of nanoparticles in drug delivery, has provided promising answers to some of these issues in recent years. Here we
review the recent advances in the understanding of several common forms of neurological diseases and particularly the applications of
nanoparticles to treat and diagnose them. In addition, we discuss the integration of bioinformatics and modern genomic approaches in the
development of nanoparticles.
From the Clinical Editor: In this review paper, applications of nanotechnology-based diagnostic methods and therapeutic modalities are
discussed addressing a variety of neurological disorders, with special attention to blood-brain barrier delivery methods. These novel
nanomedicine approaches are expected to revolutionize several aspects of clinical neurology.
© 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Key words: Nanoparticles; Blood-brain barrier; Neurological diseases
The incidence of neurological disorders including Alzhei-
mer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), multiple
sclerosis (MS), and primary brain tumors is increasing—
specifically in the ageing population.
However, given their
existence as diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), the
blood-brain barrier (BBB) presents an impediment for their
treatment and diagnosis.
The BBB is readily permeable only
to lipophilic molecules or those of a molecular weight below
and thus the options for some potential
therapeutic and diagnostic tools are limited.
ogy is a field that specializes in applying nanoscale objects (i.e.,
smaller than 100 nm) to pharmaceutical and biomedical
systems. Given the altered properties of materials at this size,
nanobiotechnology is attracting increasing interest as a means
of overcoming the issues posed by the BBB in treating CNS
In particular, systems involving nanoparticles (NPs)
are providing alternate means for targeted drug delivery to the
CNS, as well as for novel therapeutic applications.
more, the ability of the NPs to traverse the BBB provides
increased opportunity for the early diagnosis of CNS diseases
POTENTIAL CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
8 (2012) 399 – 414
Financial support was provided by Centre for Biotechnology and
Interdisciplinary Sciences (BioDeakin), Institute for Technology Research
and Innovation (ITRI), Deakin University, the Department of Innovation,
Industry Science, Research, and Commonwealth of Australia (BF030016),
and National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (30872987).
Corresponding author: Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular
Biomedical Research (LIMBR), Centre for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary
Biosciences (BioDeakin), Institute for Technology Research and Innovation
(ITRI), Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Gelong, Victoria 3217, Australia.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (J.R. Kanwar).
1549-9634/$ – see front matter © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Please cite this article as: J.R., Kanwar, et al, Nanoparticles in the treatment and diagnosis of neurological disorders: untamed dragon with fire power to
heal. Nanomedicine: NBM 2012;8:399-414, doi:10.1016/j.nano.2011.08.006