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Drug Delivery Nanoparticles Given Neurotransmitter “Passports” to Cross Blood-Brain Barrier

Qiaobing Xu | Via Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | July 27, 2020

Biomedical engineers at Tufts University School of Engineering have developed tiny lipid-based nanoparticles that incorporate neurotransmitters, which can help to carry drugs, large molecules, and even gene editing proteins across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and into the brain in mice. The researchers believe the new neurotransmitter-derived lipidoids—or NT-lipidoids—could overcome many of the current limitations encountered in delivering intravenously administered therapeutics into the central nervous system (CNS), and open up the potential to use a range of therapeutics that would otherwise not have access to the brain.

“The power of our method is that it is extremely versatile and relatively non-disruptive,” said Qiaobing Xu, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Tufts University and corresponding author of the team’s published paper in Science Advances. “We can deliver a wide range of molecules by packaging them into the lipid-based nanoparticles without chemically modifying the drugs themselves. We can also achieve delivery across the blood-brain barrier without disrupting the integrity of the barrier.” Xu and colleagues described the technology in a paper titled, “Neurotransmitter-derived lipidoids (NT-lipidoids) for enhanced brain delivery through intravenous injection… Continue reading.

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