Scientists have developed a more effective technique that helps deliver drugs to the right place in the brain.
Interestingly, the natural sugar polymer, developed by a team of researchers from the University of Southern Denmark, can transport drugs through the nasal wall and release them after reaching the targeted area in the brain.
Massimiliano Di Cagno and colleagues found that nasal sprays were more effective than pills in treating brain diseases. They said that using pills to treat brain diseases can end up in overdosing, as brain impedes entry of certain components from the blood to the nervous system.
Though these nasal sprays were found to be highly effective in delivering drugs to the exact place in the brain, the next issue was development of a transport vehicle that can successfully release these drugs to the specific brain area. Transport vehicles, made up of polymers, either synthetic or natural, have been creating headaches for scientists for a long time as most of them often failed to release their drugs after reaching the brain.
"If the drugs cannot get out of their vehicles, they are no help to the patient. So we needed to develop a vehicle that does not lock the drug in," Di Cagno, explained, in a news release.
At the end of their experiments, researchers found that natural sugar polymer successfully transported drugs through the nasal wall and released drugs after reaching the targeted area in the brain.
"This is an important breakthrough, which will bring us closer to delivering brain drugs by nasal spray", Di Cagno, stressed. "We have solved the problem of getting the drug through the nose, and we have solved the problem of getting the drug released once it has entered the brain. Now there is a third major challenge left: To secure a steady supply of drugs over a long period. This is especially important if you are a chronic patient and need drug delivery every hour or so."
As a next step, researchers are planning to invent a type of glue that can help proper administration of the drug.
"But gravity also rules inside the nose cavity and therefore the spray solution will start to run down as soon as it has been sprayed up the nose. We need it to cling to the nasal wall for a long time, so we need to invent some kind of glue that will help the solution stick to the nasal wall and not run down and out of the nose within minutes," Di Cagno added.
The study has been reported in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.