Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Madhavan Nair

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Sakhrat Khizroev

Third Advisor's Name

Ravi Pottathil

Fourth Advisor's Name

Alejandro Barbieri

Fifth Advisor's Name

Lidia Kos


drug treatment, nanotechnology, drug addition, neuro-AIDS

Date of Defense



Brain is one of the safe sanctuaries for HIV and, in turn, continuously supplies active viruses to the periphery. Additionally, HIV infection in brain results in several mild-to-severe neuro-immunological complications termed neuroAIDS. One-tenth of HIV-infected population is addicted to recreational drugs such as opiates, alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, etc. which share common target-areas in the brain with HIV. Interestingly, intensity of neuropathogenesis is remarkably enhanced due to exposure of recreational drugs during HIV infection. Current treatments to alleviate either the individual or synergistic effects of abusive drugs and HIV on neuronal modulations are less effective at CNS level, basically due to impermeability of therapeutic molecules across blood-brain barrier (BBB).

Despite exciting advancement of nanotechnology in drug delivery, existing nanovehicles such as dendrimers, polymers, micelles, etc. suffer from the lack of adequate BBB penetrability before the drugs are engulfed by the reticuloendothelial system cells as well as the uncertainty that if and when the nanocarrier reaches the brain. Therefore, in order to develop a fast, target-specific, safe, and effective approach for brain delivery of anti-addiction, anti-viral and neuroprotective drugs, we exploited the potential of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) which, in recent years, has attracted significant importance in biomedical applications. We hypothesize that under the influence of external (non-invasive) magnetic force, MNPs can deliver these drugs across BBB in most effective manner. Accordingly, in this dissertation, I delineated the pharmacokinetics and dynamics of MNPs bound anti-opioid, anti-HIV and neuroprotective drugs for delivery in brain. I have developed a liposome-based novel magnetized nanovehicle which, under the influence of external magnetic forces, can transmigrate and effectively deliver drugs across BBB without compromising its integrity. It is expected that the developed nanoformulations may be of high therapeutic significance for neuroAIDS and for drug addiction as well.





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