Covalent nano delivery systems for selective imaging and treatment of brain tumors

Julia Y. Ljubimova, Tao Sun, Leila Mashouf, Alexander V. Ljubimov, Liron L. Israel, Vladimir A. Ljubimov, Vida Falahatian, Eggehard Holler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Nanomedicine is a rapidly evolving form of therapy that holds a great promise for superior drug delivery efficiency and therapeutic efficacy than conventional cancer treatment. In this review, we attempt to cover the benefits and the limitations of current nanomedicines with special attention to covalent nano conjugates for imaging and drug delivery in the brain. The improvement in brain tumor treatment remains dismal despite decades of efforts in drug development and patient care. One of the major obstacles in brain cancer treatment is the poor drug delivery efficiency owing to the unique blood-brain barrier (BBB) in the CNS. Although various anti-cancer agents are available to treat tumors outside of the CNS, the majority fails to cross the BBB. In this regard, nanomedicines have increasingly drawn attention due to their multi-functionality and versatility. Nano drugs can penetrate BBB and other biological barriers, and selectively accumulate in tumor cells, while concurrently decreasing systemic toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-200
Number of pages24
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
StatePublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors


This work was supported by the following grants: NIH R01 CA123495 , U01 CA151815 , R01 CA188743 , R01 CA206220 , R01 EY013431 , and R01 CA 209921 .

FundersFunder number
National Institutes of HealthR01 EY013431, R01 CA188743, R01 CA123495, R01 CA 209921, R01 CA206220
National Cancer InstituteU01CA151815


    • Blood-brain-barrier (BBB)
    • Brain cancer
    • Covalent nano conjugates
    • Drug delivery
    • Nanomedicine for brain imaging


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