Polymeric Nanoparticles

Polymeric nanoparticles (Fig. 4.1) are solid colloidal particles with diameters ranging usually from 60 to 200 nm which are composed of a polymeric core matrix in which drugs can be embedded [7, 192]. Most popular polymers used in the composition of polymeric nanoparticles are synthetic or semisynthetic polymers, like PLA, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), polyanhydrides, polycyanoacrylates and PCL, and natural polymers, like chitosan [7]. In the case of polymeric nanoparticles, reports are also available describing enhanced drug delivery to the brain mediated by these ONCs. Table 4.2 shows a few examples of these reports.

Among these polymer nanoparticles, Kreuter et al. worked extensively on the use of polycyanoaciylate nanoparticles for BBB crossing [155, 193, 194]. However, these works have not been included in this chapter since their composition involves other components (e.g. non-ionic surfactants, phospholipids) other than polymeric compositions and should therefore be considered as hybrid nanoparticles.

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