Nanomaterial-Mediated CNS Delivery of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Agents


Research into the diagnosis and treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases has been enhanced by rapid advances in nanotechnology and an expansion in the library of nanostructured carriers. This review discusses the latest applications of nanomaterials in the CNS with an emphasis on brain tumors. Novel administration routes and transport mechanisms for nanomaterial-mediated CNS delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents to bypass or cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) are also discussed. These include temporary disruption of the BBB, use of impregnated polymers (polymer wafers), convection-enhanced delivery (CED), and intranasal delivery. Moreover, an in vitro BBB model capable of mimicking geometrical, cellular and rheological features of the human cerebrovasculature has been developed. This is a useful tool that can be used for screening CNS nanoparticles or therapeutics prior to in vivo and clinical investigation. A discussion of this novel model is included.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


This work was supported, in part, by NIH P01CA72955 , R21ES016636 , and R01NS064593 (K.V.); NIH T32CA113277 (L.B-T); NIH R21NS063200 , and NSF CAREER Award CBET0954957 (H.Y.); NIH R01NS43284 , R01NS38195 , R41MH093302 , and R21HD057256 (D.J.) as well as Epilepsy Foundation Research Grant (N.M.).

Keywords and Phrases

Blood-brain barrier (BBB); Brain cancer; Central nervous system (CNS); Convection enhanced delivery (CED); Flow-based in vitro BBB model; Nanoparticle

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0169-409X; 1872-8294

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

15 May 2012

PubMed ID