To treat brain disease is a challeging purpose, since the brain is protected by a barrier made by of tightly-joined endothelial cells of the cerebral microvessels, called the blood–brain barrier (BBB). To improve this route to reach the central nervous system, several strategies have been developed. Among them, researchers try to functionalize nanoparticle (NPs) for improving their crossing through the BBB.

Polymeric NPs were coated with the surfactants polysorbate 80 (PS80) and poloxamer 188 (P188) – which have shown promising results as drugs carriers are able to cross the BBB on animal models – and were labelled with a fluorescent dye. They were produced using the MicroJet reactor® technology developed by MyBiotech GmbH (Überherrn, Germany). These NPs were tested on a human in vitro BBB model developed by LBHE (Université d’Artois, Lens, France) to evaluate and compare their uptake profiles and their mechanisms of transport through human brain-like endothelial cells (BLECs).

The results show that both NPs uptakes followed more than one endocytosis pathway in BLECs, ending with a release of NPs in the brain compartment, albeit with different uptake profiles, providing interesting formulations for drug delivery to the brain.

This work was published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics. It was done within the framework of Nanostem project, as a collaboration between Université d’Artois, MyBiotech company and the Department of Pharmacy of Saarland University (Saarbrücken, Germany) and HCS Pharma. Congratulations to Elisa Moya and Sonia Lombardo for such a great article, well done!

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