Drug delivery to the central nervous system is difficult. This is due in large part to the blood-brain barrier, which serves as a highly penetrant-resistant shield around the central nervous system. However, intra-nasal administration of drugs that can be absorbed through the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses can bypass the blood-brain barrier. Still, often drugs administered in this way are poorly absorbed and have limited bioavailability.
Researchers at FAU have developed a series of carrier peptides that allow for intranasal administration and absorption of drugs. This allows for central nervous system drugs to be administered in a way that is both effective and minimally invasive. Incorporated into the backbone of these delivery molecules is a ligand for an abundant receptor in the mucosal membranes of the nose and sinus. This increases the effective absorption of the carried molecule. The efficacy of these carrier molecules has been assessed using a murine pain model. Opioid drugs were used as the test carried molecule with high penetrance and functionality of the drugs.