Formulation and evaluation of the biocompatibility of chitosan-dextran nanoparticles using a blood-brain barrier model
MetadataShow full item record
Central nervous system (CNS) infections are a therapeutic challenge. This is partly due to insufficient drug penetration across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB is a specialized, highly selective, metabolically active physiological barrier that regulates the movement of molecules into-and-out of the brain. As a result, large hydrophilic antibiotics such as colistin poorly penetrate to the CNS. Colistin is an old 'last line of defence'; a gram-negative antibiotic that has seen its clinical re-emergence due to the surge of multidrug resistance (MDR) infections. However, owing to systemic toxicity, increasing the intravenous dosage, in order to obtain higher CNS penetration, is inimical. Chitosan (CS) based nanoparticles (NPs) have been proposed as drug delivery systems across the BBB. CS is a cationic, natural polysaccharide that has the ability to be complexed with multivalent polymers like dextran (DS) thus forming CS-DS NPs. Naturally, CS has remarkable inherent features such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, ability to encapsulate poorly soluble drugs and it is favourable for endothelial cell uptake. However, polymeric NPs (even those derived from natural polysaccharides) have limited use due to toxicity. Considering the vital role of the BBB, toxicity would denote dire effects on CNS functioning. Therefore, treatment of CNS infections fringes on a deeper understanding of the interactions between drug delivery systems and the BBB.