Muna Aryal, PhD, and Tyrone Porter, PhD | Loyola University of Chicago
Competition Sponsor: US National Academy of Medicine
Award Year: 2021
We purpose to develop a new strategy for efficient delivery of large-sized agents to a big portion of the brain which is not possible from the existing brain drug delivery technologies. Given that antibodies have the unique capability to be used for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications in the brain, we propose a simple, transcranial ultrasound procedure that we can noninvasively apply throughout the brain to effectively transport antibodies that are injected intrathecally. Completion of the proposed study may have an important positive and immediate impact by offering a novel drug delivery method that can give brain-wide access to many biological agents for managing brain disorders. It is expected that this work will lead to the development of novel imaging and therapy strategies to combat aging-related brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer in a minimally invasive and potent manner, which will increase the quality of life and will extend the lifespan of those patient populations. Given the low intensity of ultrasound with FDA-approved clinical ultrasound systems, there will be a clear path for clinical translation of the method. Further, this method will provide a means for on-demand and spatiotemporal control of enhanced glymphatic transport, which could be used for causative evaluation of the role of the glymphatic system in a variety of physiological states, like sleep, and diseases like Alzheimer’s disease or traumatic brain injury, or chronic neuroinflammation. Thus, the method will prove useful for discovery and translational research in neuroscience and age-related neurological disorders.