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Nanoparticle Interactions with the Brain

Targeting the brain with drugs is the holy grail for (nano)medicine, offering potential treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as immunological diseases such as HIV. 

Due to their small size, and biomolecule corona, nanoparticles have great potential as carriers for medicines to the brain.  However, understanding the mechanism(s) of nanoparticle interaction with the brain, including the potential for inadvertent harm, is critical to the safe use of nanomedicines.

Additionally, by understanding the mechanism(s) of interactions we can help to ensure that nanomaterials not intended to reach the brain do not cross the Blood-brain barrier.

Within this theme, researchers are developing new approaches to address a range of these issues including:

  • Establishment of an in vitro model Blood-brain barrier for investigation of mechanisms of nanoparticle transport;
  • Investigation of the impact of nanoparticles on fibrillation of proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases;
  • Biodistribution and behavioural studies in animals exposed to nanoparticles.