Development of novel delivery systems for nose-to-brain drug delivery

  • Shital Lungare

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The blood brain barrier (BBB) poses a significant hurdle to brain drug delivery.
However, the location of the olfactory mucosa, within the nasal cavity, is a viable target site for direct nose-to-brain (N2B) delivery, thereby bypassing the BBB. To exploit this target site innovative nasal formulations are required for targeting and increasing residency within the olfactory mucosa. We developed and characterised three formulation systems for N2B delivery, (i) thermoresponsive mucoadhesion nasal gels sprays; (ii) mesoporous silica nanoparticles and (iii) nasal pMDI devices.
We developed an optimal mucoadhesive formulation system incorporating amantadine as a model, water-soluble anti-Parkinson’s drug using carboxymethy cellulose and chitosan as mucoadhesives. Formulations demonstrated droplet sizes of < 130mm and stability over 8-weeks when stored at refrigeration conditions with no significant cellular toxicity against olfactory bulb (OBGF400) and nasal epithelial (RPMI 2650) cells.
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNP) were prepared (~220nm) and demonstrated cellular uptake into OBGF400 within 2-hours of incubation with minimal toxicity. MSNP were loaded with two novel phytochemicals known to possess CNS activity, curcumin and chrysin, with loading efficiencies of ~12% confirmed through TGA, DSC and HPLC-UV analysis. Furthermore, a pH dependant release profile was identified with curcumin with greater release at nasal cavity pH 5.5 compared to pH 7.4. Furthermore, successful incorporation of MSNP into nasal gels was demonstrated through rheological studies with a decrease in Tsol-gel.
A pilot study was conducted to assess the feasibility of modified existing pulmonary pMDI to deliver diazepam intranasally, targeting the olfactory mucosa. Diazepam was formulated with HFA134a and using ethanol as a co-solvent, and demonstrated stability in formulation over 3 months. Deposition studies within a nasal cast model demonstrated 5-6% deposition onto the olfactory mucosa under optimal administration conditions in the absence of any nozzle attachments.

Our studies have provided a basis for the development to innovative intranasal
formulation systems potentially capable of targeting the olfactory mucosa for both water soluble and poorly soluble drugs.
Date of Award31 May 2017
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorRaj Badhan (Supervisor)


  • Olafactory
  • mucoadhesive
  • mesoporous silica nanoparticles
  • pMDI

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