Research Topic

Antioxidant Nanomedicine

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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are physiologically produced in our cells during mitochondrial aerobic metabolism and are involved in the signal transduction of many cellular pathways. However, under certain conditions they start to accumulate and become involved in the onset of multiple pathologies such as ...

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are physiologically produced in our cells during mitochondrial aerobic metabolism and are involved in the signal transduction of many cellular pathways. However, under certain conditions they start to accumulate and become involved in the onset of multiple pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ischemia reperfusion injury, among others. The application of nanomedicine has been widely investigated in the context of neurodegenerative disorders with the aim of targeted drug delivery to the central nervous system. Many nanotechnological strategies have been designed both for diagnosis and therapy. Nanoparticles, solid lipid nanoparticles, nanostructured lipid carriers and liposomes have been successfully developed, not only for carrying antioxidant molecules, but also for loading and functionalization with biologically active molecules.

Research has demonstrated that changes in redox balance and ROS-dependent signaling pathways are also responsible for cancer progression, angiogenesis and induction of drug resistance. Therefore, targeting ROS-mediated oncogenic cascades using antioxidants can be considered a potential anti-cancer therapeutic strategy. Many antioxidant molecules, both natural and synthetic, can be provided by dietary supplements. They can work as neuroprotective agents and exhibit unique anticancer properties. However, antioxidants often display limited bioavailability and target specificity, and they rarely achieve brain targeting due to their incapacity to cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, there are still many obstacles to overcome before the introduction of antioxidants as therapeutic drugs in clinical practice.

In recent years, many nanotechnological solutions have been developed to improve antioxidant delivery and targeting properties, and to increase their activity inside cells. Different kinds of nanoparticles, both inorganic and organic, have been designed to efficiently load antioxidants and show high capacity in reducing oxidative stress. This research field is open to be explored and holds great promise for the future of nanomedicine. Pre-clinical evaluations and clinical trials are currently underway that will expand the framework of knowledge for efficient and innovative antioxidant therapies.

The scope of this Research Topic is to provide state-of-the-art nanotechnological solutions designed for treating human neurodegenerative conditions and improvement of antioxidant properties and performance in vivo. We invite contributions aimed at elucidating the advantages of different nanomaterials (nanostructured lipid carriers, liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, etc.), the molecular mechanisms underlying the antioxidant properties of synthetic and natural compounds, and their potential contribution for therapy of neurological diseases and cancer. Additional aspects regarding their clinical translation will be further reviewed. Article types such as original research, review, mini-review, opinion and case report are welcomed.


Keywords: reactive oxygen species, blood brain barrier, cancer, antioxidants, nanotechnology


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