Back to Journals » International Journal of Nanomedicine » Volume 8 » Issue 1

Liposomes and nanotechnology in drug development: focus on neurological targets

Authors Ramos-Cabrer P, Campos F

Received 5 December 2012

Accepted for publication 19 January 2013

Published 3 March 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 951—960


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Pedro Ramos-Cabrer, Francisco Campos

Clinical Neurosciences Research Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago, University of Santiago de Compostela, Health Research Institute of Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Abstract: Neurological diseases represent a medical, social, and economic problem of paramount importance in developed countries. Although their etiology is generally known, developing therapeutic interventions for the central nervous system is challenging due to the impermeability of the blood–brain barrier. Thus, the fight against neurological diseases usually struggles "at the gates" of the brain. Flooding the bloodstream with drugs, where only a minor fraction reaches its target therapeutic site, is an inefficient, expensive, and dangerous procedure, because of the risk of side effects at nontargeted sites. Currently, advances in the field of nanotechnology have enabled development of a generation of multifunctional molecular platforms that are capable of transporting drugs across the blood–brain barrier, targeting specific cell types or functional states within the brain, releasing drugs in a controlled manner, and enabling visualization of processes in vivo using conventional imaging systems. The marriage between drug delivery and molecular imaging disciplines has resulted in a relatively new discipline, known as theranostics, which represents the basis of the concept of personalized medicine. In this study, we review the concepts of the blood–brain barrier and the strategies used to traverse/bypass it, the role of nanotechnology in theranostics, the wide range of nanoparticles (with emphasis on liposomes) that can be used as stealth drug carriers, imaging probes and targeting devices for the treatment of neurological diseases, and the targets and targeting strategies envisaged in the treatment of different types of brain pathology.

Keywords: nanotechnology, theranostics, blood–brain barrier, brain, central nervous system

Creative Commons License © 2013 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.