Nanopsychiatry: Engineering of nanoassisted drug delivery systems to formulate antidepressants

Document Type : Review


Medical Bionanotechnology, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Chettinad Hospital & Research Institute (CHRI), Chettinad Academy of Research and Education (CARE), Kelambakkam, Chennai-603 103, INDIA.


­Psychiatry involves the study of behavior, mind, personality, emotions, and human thoughts, which helps in the assessment and treatment of various mental health issues. Recently, the complexity of psychiatry has increased among all other medical specialties. Major depression is considered to become the global cause of disability by 2030. Antidepressants are the primary care or treatment given to any patient. Generally, antidepressants work by balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain, which accounts for the change in mood and emotions. The major problem limiting the use and research of antidepressants is blood brain barrier (BBB). They are highly selective for the movement of ions and molecules between blood and the brain. In particular circumstances, BBB hinders the entry of these drugs to the brain, thereby decreasing the efficacy, in turn increasing the side effects. Drug molecules larger than the pore size of BBB cannot pass through them. Nanopsychiatry deals with the application of nanoparticles in designing drugs, treatments, and diagnostic tools for several neurological and psychiatric illnesses. Nanoparticles exhibit a large surface-to-volume ratio which empowers them to remain a primary part of an effective drug delivery system. Nanocarriers made up of biodegradable polymers can overcome the limitations of BBB. Other than polymers, novel surfactant-based nanocarriers are a successful carrier of the drug across the BBB. This review discusses the severity of depression and the need for novel nanoassisted drug delivery systems. 


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