January 25, 2021

Modulating the Blood-Brain Barrier by Light Stimulation of Molecular-Targeted Nanoparticles

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) tightly regulates the entry of molecules into the brain by tight junctions that seals the paracellular space and receptor-mediated transcytosis. It remains elusive to selectively modulate these mechanisms and to overcome BBB without significant neurotoxicity. Here we report that light stimulation of tight junction-targeted plasmonic nanoparticles selectively opens up the paracellular route to allow diffusion through the compromised tight junction and into the brain parenchyma. The BBB modulation does not impair vascular dynamics and associated neurovascular coupling, or cause significant neural injury. It further allows antibody and adeno-associated virus delivery into local brain regions. This novel method offers the first evidence of selectively modulating BBB tight junctions and opens new avenues for therapeutic interventions in the central nervous system.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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