Nanotechnologies for Alzheimer's disease: Diagnosis, therapy, and safety issues

Davide Brambilla, Benjamin Le Droumaguet, Julien Nicolas, S. Hossein Hashemi, Lin Ping Wu, S. Moein Moghimi, Patrick Couvreur, Karine Andrieux

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

273 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD) represents the most common form of dementia worldwide, affecting more than 35 million people. Advances in nanotechnology are beginning to exert a significant impact in neurology. These approaches, which are often based on the design and engineering of a plethora of nanoparticulate entities with high specificity for brain capillary endothelial cells, are currently being applied to early AD diagnosis and treatment. In addition, nanoparticles (NPs) with high affinity for the circulating amyloid-β (Aβ) forms may induce "sink effect" and improve the AD condition. There are also developments in relation to in vitro diagnostics for AD, including ultrasensitive NP-based bio-barcodes, immunosensors, as well as scanning tunneling microscopy procedures capable of detecting Aβ 1-40 and Aβ 1-42. However, there are concerns regarding the initiation of possible NP-mediated adverse events in AD, thus demanding the use of precisely assembled nanoconstructs from biocompatible materials. Key advances and safety issues are reviewed and discussed. From the Clinical Editor: This excellent review summarizes the impact of nanotechnology on the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease, ranging from circulating amyloid 'sinks' to NP-based bio-barcodes and many other recent advances, without neglecting potential pitfalls, side effects and safety issues. A must read for anyone interested in the evolving interface of clinical neurosciences and nanotechnology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-540
Number of pages20
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Aβ peptide
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Drug delivery
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotechnology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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