Intranasal drug delivery to the brain

The blood-brain barrier excludes the vast majority of drugs from entering the brain, which is an important challenge facing most patients with incurable central nervous system diseases. The Veronesi Lab focuses on intranasal delivery as a promising alternative to systemic administration that can harness a perivascular and perineuronal conduit bridging the nasal mucosa and the brain. Therapeutic compounds delivered through the nose are regularly applied through an aerosolizer device, especially for nose to brain delivery. In contrast, aerosolized small animal drug delivery rarely reproduces human nasal drug delivery, which is a critically underdeveloped area. In addition, in vivo imaging to study and verify nose to brain drug delivery is also in need of further development. Initial success in pre-clinical neuroscience research during MD and PhD training evolved into a desire to study brain imaging (in radiology) and therapy (neurosurgery).
  • Publications

    Veronesi MC, Kubek DJ and Kubek MJ. Intranasal delivery of neuropeptides. Methods Mol Biol. 2011; 789:303-12. PMID: 21922417.

    Veronesi MC, Alhamami M, Miedema SB, Yun Y, Ruiz-Cardozo M, Vannier MW. Imaging of intranasal drug delivery to the brain. Am J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2020 Feb 25;10(1):1-31. PMID: 32211216.

    Veronesi MC, Graner BD, Cheng SH, Zamora M, Zarrinmayeh H, Chen CT, Das SK and Vannier MW. Aerosolized in vivo 3D localization of nose-to-brain nanocarrier delivery using multimodality neuroimaging in a rat model. Pharmaceutics 2021 Mar 15;13(3):391. PMID: 33804222.

In the news

Veronesi’s schematic of the route of nose to brain delivery was recently published in the Journal of the International Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging to highlight the areas of the brain most likely to benefit from the delivery approach.

Education to innovation

While at University of Chicago, Veronesi met experts who guided him in using advanced modality imaging (PET/ CT and PET/ MRI) in small animals to further contribute to the field in nasal drug delivery research. Through this work, the lab developed zirconium-89 radiolabeled nanoparticles for the study of nose to brain delivery and whole body biodistribution using a clinical PET/ CT. The lab also developed a protocol for performing real time PET imaging of nose to brain delivery in a rat followed by ex vivo validation using brain autoradiography and gamma counting.