Published Date : May 23, 2014
Scientists have invented a new way through which drugs can now more effectively reach the required brain areas via the nasal canal.
This invention speaks of a natural sugar polymer that can effectively transport drugs through the nasal canal and release it once it reaches the desired area in the brain. The sugar polymer is developed by researchers Massimiliano Di Cagno and his colleagues from the University of Southern Denmark.
The researchers had found that nasal sprays work more effectively as compared to pills for treating brain diseases. The use of pills for treating brain diseases may result in overdosing, as the brain restricts entry of some components from the blood to the nervous system, letting them to stay in the blood only.
But though nasal sprays were found to be more effective, they had the problem of abrupt release of the drug without the aid of a proper transport vehicle for the drug - something that can successfully release it in the required area. The earlier used transport vehicles were made of polymers, natural or artificial, and posed huge inefficiency by being unable to release drug after reaching to the brain.
It is quite obvious that if a drug is not able to get out of its vehicle, there’s little effect one can expect. So a vehicle that does not keep a drug locked within it was needed to be developed. At the end of their experiment, the researchers were able to find out the usefulness of natural sugar polymer for the purpose. It was found that these polymers not only successfully transported drug through the nasal canal but also released it at the required place in the brain.
The researchers believe that this discovery is an important breakthrough and would significantly help the medical field in developing effective mechanisms for nasal sprays.
The next challenge faced by researchers is the effect of gravity on the nasal canal. It is due to this effect that the spray solution would start running down once it reaches up the nose. To tackle his issue, scientists are looking to develop a glue-like substance that would allow the contents of a nasal spray stick to the nasal wall and not run down in a few minutes.
The complete study can be found in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.