In Vitro Evaluation of Nasal Aerosol Depositions: An Insight for Direct Nose to Brain Drug Delivery

Aida Maaz, Ian Blagbrough, Paul De Bank

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (SciVal)


The nasal cavity is an attractive route for both local and systemic drug delivery and holds great potential for access to the brain via the olfactory region, an area where the blood–brain barrier (BBB) is effectively absent. However, the olfactory region is located at the roof of the nasal cavity and only represents ~5–7% of the epithelial surface area, presenting significant challenges for the deposition of drug molecules for nose to brain drug delivery (NTBDD). Aerosolized particles have the potential to be directed to the olfactory region, but their specific deposition within this area is confounded by a complex combination of factors, which include the properties of the formulation, the delivery device and how it is used, and differences in inter-patient physiology. In this review, an in-depth examination of these different factors is provided in relation to both in vitro and in vivo studies and how advances in the fabrication of nasal cast models and analysis of aerosol deposition can be utilized to predict in vivo outcomes more accurately. The challenges faced in assessing the nasal deposition of aerosolized particles within the paediatric population are specifically considered, representing an unmet need for nasal and NTBDD to treat CNS disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1079
Number of pages27
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by the University of Bath and R. Schinazi.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Blood–brain barrier
  • Drug delivery
  • Nasal
  • Nose to brain
  • Olfactory
  • Particle deposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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