Special Issue "Drug Delivery to Brain"


A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gert Fricker
Institut für Pharmazie und Molekulare Biotechnologie, Im Neuenheimer Feld 329, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Website: http://www.ipmb.uni-heidelberg.de/phazt/
Phone: +49-6221-548336
Fax: +49 6221 545971
Interests: blood brain barrier; ABC transporters; drug delivery systems; drug development
Guest Editor
Dr. Anne Mahringer
Institut für Pharmazie und Molekulare Biotechnologie, Im Neuenheimer Feld 329, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Website: http://www.ipmb.uni-heidelberg.de/phazt/
Phone: +49 6221 548336
Fax: +49 6221 545971
Interests: blood brain barrier; transport proteins; transporter regulation and signaling; drug delivery systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Drug delivery to the brain remains one of the biggest challenges in modern pharmacotherapy. Many drug candidates for therapy of CNS diseases fail during development because they are not able to overcome the blood brain barrier (BBB) and to achieve therapeutically relevant concentrations within brain tissue. Modern drug discovery has evolved to optimize target affinity, but a parallel maturation of effective CNS drug delivery strategies is lacking. More than 98% of CNS drug development is devoted to drug discovery and only <2% is devoted to CNS drug delivery. Except for lipid-soluble molecules, which have a molecular weight under a 400-600 Da threshold, virtually all drugs that originate from either biotechnology or classical small molecule pharmacology exhibit negligible transport across the BBB.

This barrier is formed by endothelial cells of brain microvessels being connected by extremely tight junctions and surrounded by parricides, a basal membrane and astrocytes, which form—together with neurons—the so called neurovascular unit. The capillary network has impressive dimensions: the total length of capillaries in the human brain is approximate 600 km with a surface area of 20 m2, which means, in fact, that almost every neuron is perfused by its own capillary. A peculiarity of the endothelial cells is the high expression of export proteins including p-glycoprotein, breast cancer resistance protein and Mrp proteins, which act as active efflux systems for a variety of drugs. In addition, endothelial cells are equipped with a battery of other transport proteins such as a glucose transporter, amino acid transporters, organic anion transport proteins as well as with distinct receptors, e.g., transferring receptor, insulin receptor or low-density lipoprotein receptor related protein-1 (LRP or LDL like receptor). During recent years these receptors have become interesting as targets for drug
delivery using colloidal carrier systems like liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles or solid lipid nanoparticles. Specific surface modification (vector technology) enables these carriers systems to be recognized by the respective receptors, which subsequently undergo transcytosis and release their cargo at the brain side of the endothelial wall. Whereas application of normal colloidal carriers yielded more or less disillusioning results in clinical trials within the last 25 years, this vector technology offers promising tools for new therapeutic areas. Thus, the idea of unfailing “magic bullets”, which was originally developed by Paul Ehrlich at the beginning of the 20th century, appears to come closer to reality.

This special issue “Drug Delivery to Brain" will address new biological, pharmacological and technological approaches to overcome the BBB, which might help to satisfy one of the biggest therapeutic needs of the present time.

Prof. Dr. Gert Fricker
Dr. Anne Mahringer
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceutics is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 500 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Published Papers (5 papers)

Download All Papers
Sort by:
Display options:
Select articles Export citation of selected articles as:
Select/unselect all
Displaying article 1-5
p. 175-187
by ,  and
Pharmaceutics 2015, 7(3), 175-187; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics7030175 (registering DOI)
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 21 July 2015 / Accepted: 24 July 2015 / Published: 3 August 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (1138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery to Brain)
abstract graphic
p. 74-89
by , , , , , , , ,  and
Pharmaceutics 2015, 7(2), 74-89; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics7020074
Received: 30 March 2015 / Revised: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 10 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (1629 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery to Brain)
abstract graphic
p. 27-42
by  and
Pharmaceutics 2015, 7(2), 27-42; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics7020027
Received: 18 December 2014 / Revised: 19 March 2015 / Accepted: 23 March 2015 / Published: 1 April 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (5008 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery to Brain)
abstract graphic
p. 3-9
Pharmaceutics 2015, 7(1), 3-9; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics7010003
Received: 6 December 2014 / Revised: 8 January 2015 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 3 February 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (878 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery to Brain)
abstract graphic
p. 557-583
by ,  and
Pharmaceutics 2014, 6(4), 557-583; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics6040557
Received: 24 September 2014 / Revised: 28 October 2014 / Accepted: 29 October 2014 / Published: 17 November 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1455 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery to Brain)
abstract graphic
Select/unselect all
Displaying article 1-5
Select articles Export citation of selected articles as:

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of paper: Research article
Liposomal conjugates for drug delivery to the central nervous system
Authors: Frieder Helm, Gert Fricker
Abstract: Many treatments of diseases of the central nervous system fail due to the blood-brain barrier. Circumvention of this obstacle is crucial for any systemic treatment of such diseases to be effective. One approach to transfer drugs into the brain is the use of colloidal carrier systems, amongst others: liposomes. A prerequisite for a successful drug delivery by colloidal carriers to the brain is the modification of their surface to make them invisible to the reticuloendothelial system (RES) and to target them to specific surface epitopes at the blood brain barrier. This study shows the behaviour of liposomes conjugated with cationized albumin (cBSA) as a transport vector both in-vitro on brain capillary endothelial cells (BCEC) isolated from pig brains and in-vivo on rats through fluorescently labelled liposomes.
Experiments on BCEC’s showed that sterically stabilized (PEGylated) liposomes without protein and liposomes conjugated to native BSA were not taken up. Only cBSA-liposomes were taken up and appeared to be concentrated in intracellular vesicles. Uptake occurred in a concentration and time dependant manner. Free BSA and free cBSA inhibited uptake, other endocytotic inhibitors, however, did not. Confocal fluorescence microscopy of brain cryosections from male Wistar rats after intravenous application of cBSA-liposomes showed fluorescence associated with liposomes in brain capillary surrounding tissue after 3, 6 and 24 hours, for liposomes with a diameter between 120 and 150 nm. For a size above 180 nm no fluorescence could be detected. Liposomes with native BSA and without protein vector showed only little to no uptake into brain tissue.
liposomes, blood-brain barrier, cationized albumin, liposomal conjugates, brain capillary endothelial cells

Type of Paper: Research/Review
Title: Endocytosis of Nanomedicine in Central Nervous System
Authors: B. Ruozi, D. Belletti, A. Vilella, F. Forni, M.A. Vandelli, M. Zoli, G. Tosi.
Affiliation: Department of Life Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
Keywords: Nanomedicine, Blood Brain Barrier, Neurons, Endocytosis, Uptake

Title: Disruption of the Blood-Brain-Barrier for Delivery of Chemotherapeutics for Glioma Treatment
Analiz Rodriguez MD, PhD, Stephen B. Tatter MD, PhD, and Waldemar Debinski MD, PhD
Brain Tumor Center of Excellence, Wake Forest University
The blood-brain-barrier remains a main hurdle to drug delivery to the brain. The prognosis of glioblastoma remains grim despite current maximal medical management. We review new neurosurgical technologies that will allow for enhanced delivery of chemotherapeutics to gliomas by disrupting the blood brain barrier. We review superselective intra-arterial mannitol infusion, focused ultrasound, laser interstitial thermotherapy, and non-thermal irreversible electroporation (NTIRE). These technologies can lead to transient blood-brain-barrier disruption (BBBD) around the tumor and allow for the potential of local chemotherapeutic drug delivery. Animal studies and preliminary clinical trials show great promise for improving patient clinical outcomes.

Title: Influence of Chronobiology on the Nanoparticle-Mediated Drug Uptake into the Brain
Author: Jörg Kreuter

Last update: 21 January 2015

Pharmaceutics EISSN 1999-4923 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert