First, researchers designed small particles, similar in size to viruses, to cross the protective boundary by separating circulatory blood from the brain, a breakthrough that could pave the way for better drug delivery to the organ.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, noted that the new method allows the combined delivery of drugs by intravenous injection to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
Researchers, including those from Newcastle University in the UK, have synthesized and modified components of a brain-targeted virus – bacteriophage CD – to deliver drugs across the BBB.
When the "tiny, fibrous particle" they developed was introduced into mice, the system crossed the BBB and directed the brain, reaching neurons and other special brain cells, the study said.
According to researchers, most drugs are excluded from the brain by the protective blood-brain barrier, and current treatment options aimed at crossing that barrier have been risky.
"Crossing the blood-brain barrier has prevented the industry from effectively dealing with diseases of the central nervous system, including brain tumors and many neurological diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington," said lead author Moin Mogimi. Castuccal University.
However, he added that some viruses had found ways to bypass the BBB and enter the brain.
"We are very excited about our research – our delivery system is versatile and subject to modifications so that, in principle, we hope we can address the shortcomings in drug delivery to the brain by intravenous injection," Mogimi said.
The new delivery system, based on more than a decade of research, has significant implications for the development of drugs that can cross the BBB and other biological barriers, the researchers said.
Researchers say the method may open several possibilities for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases with modern therapists.