Intranasal Delivery of Functionalized Polymeric Nanomaterials to the Brain

Shuai Zha, Ka Leung Wong, Angelo H. All*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Intravenous delivery of nanomaterials containing therapeutic agents and various cargos for treating neurological disorders is often constrained by low delivery efficacy due to difficulties in passing the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Nanoparticles (NPs) administered intranasally can move along olfactory and trigeminal nerves so that they do not need to pass through the BBB, allowing non-invasive, direct access to selective neural pathways within the brain. Hence, intranasal (IN) administration of NPs can effectively deliver drugs and genes into targeted regions of the brain, holding potential for efficacious disease treatment in the central nervous system (CNS). In this review, current methods for delivering conjugated NPs to the brain are primarily discussed. Distinctive potential mechanisms of therapeutic nanocomposites delivered via IN pathways to the brain are then discussed. Recent progress in developing functional NPs for applications in multimodal bioimaging, drug delivery, diagnostics, and therapeutics is also reviewed. This review is then concluded by discussing existing challenges, new directions, and future perspectives in IN delivery of nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2102610
JournalAdvanced healthcare materials
Issue number11
Early online date14 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • brain delivery
  • functionalized nanomaterials
  • intranasal delivery
  • nanomedicines
  • polymeric nanomaterials
  • therapeutic nanocarriers


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