Drug delivery to the brain using polymers

A. Domb, M. Maniar, S. Bogdansky, M. Chasin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The delivery of drugs to the brain has been a major challenge to the scientist developing drugs designed for central nervous system (CNS) activity. One of the obstacles to the progress is the transport of drug through the blood brain barrier (BBB). The criteria for effective drug delivery to the CNS include the following: (a) the drug must have access to the brain, (b) the effect of the drug should be localized, (c) the drug must be stable, and (d) the effective dose should be sustained and controlled. To meet some of the above criteria, two approaches have been used: systemic administration of drugs, and direct delivery of drugs into the brain. The systemic administration of drugs relies on passive diffusion of drug through the BBB, formation of lipid soluble prodrugs and the use of monoclonal antibodies for targeting the drug to the CNS. The other approach includes the use of implantable polymer systems and infusion pumps. Both of the approaches have some advantages and disadvantages. Because of the enormous amount of literature on drug delivery to the brain, the following review focuses on the use of polymer-based implantable systems. The review includes nondegradable and biodegradable polymer implants from the conceptual phase to the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Reviews in Therapeutic Drug Carrier Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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