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Nanoparticle-based drug delivery to improve the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy in the central nervous system

Authors Gomes MJ, das Neves J, Sarmento B

Received 24 January 2014

Accepted for publication 15 February 2014

Published 7 April 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 1757—1769

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S45886

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Maria João Gomes,1 José das Neves,1,2 Bruno Sarmento1,2

1Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica (INEB), Porto, Portugal; 2Instituto de Investigação e Formação Avançada em Ciências e Tecnologias da Saúde (IINFACTS), Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde-Norte, CESPU, Gandra, Portugal

Abstract: Antiretroviral drug therapy plays a cornerstone role in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients. Despite obvious advances over the past 3 decades, new approaches toward improved management of infected individuals are still required. Drug distribution to the central nervous system (CNS) is required in order to limit and control viral infection, but the presence of natural barrier structures, in particular the blood–brain barrier, strongly limits the perfusion of anti-HIV compounds into this anatomical site. Nanotechnology-based approaches may help providing solutions for antiretroviral drug delivery to the CNS by potentially prolonging systemic drug circulation, increasing the crossing and reducing the efflux of active compounds at the blood–brain barrier, and providing cell/tissue-targeting and intracellular drug delivery. After an initial overview on the basic features of HIV infection of the CNS and barriers to active compound delivery to this anatomical site, this review focuses on recent strategies based on antiretroviral drug-loaded solid nanoparticles and drug nanosuspensions for the potential management of HIV infection of the CNS.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, blood–brain barrier, protease inhibitors, efflux transporters, drug targeting

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