Thursday, May 30, 2013
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Transferrin-coated, brain-penetrant gold nanoparticles
Mouse studies suggest
transferrin-coated gold nanoparticles could be useful for delivering
therapeutics across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Gold nanoparticles of
different diameters and transferrin content were synthesized. In mice,
nanoparticles with diameters of 40 nm or 80 nm and moderate transferrin
content bound to the transferrin receptor,
penetrated the BBB and accumulated in the brain parenchyma. In contrast, gold
nanoparticles with low transferrin content showed weak binding to the
transferrin receptor and failed to penetrate the BBB, whereas those with high
transferrin content bound to the receptor but were not released into the
brain parenchyma. Next steps include adapting the transferrin-based strategy
to polymeric nanoparticle technologies and exploring other nanoparticle
parameters that could be modulated to optimize delivery across the BBB (see
transferrin-mediated transcytosis, page 7).
Published online May 30, 2013
Patent application filed
covering methods to deliver nanoparticles to the brain; unavailable for
Wiley, D.T. et al. Proc.
Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online May 6, 2013;
Contact: Mark E. Davis, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena,
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