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The fate of intranasal aerosolized radiolabeled polymeric micellar nanoparticles (LPNPs) was tracked with positron emission tomography/computer tomography (PET/CT) imaging in a rat model to measure nose-to-brain delivery. A quantitative temporal and spatial testing protocol for new radio-nanotheranostic agents was sought in vivo. LPNPs labeled with a zirconium 89 (89Zr) PET tracer were administered via intranasal or intravenous delivery, followed by serial PET/CT imaging. After 2 h of continuous imaging, the animals were sacrificed, and the brain substructures (olfactory bulb, forebrain, and brainstem) were isolated. The activity in each brain region was measured for comparison with the corresponding PET/CT region of interest via activity measurements. Serial imaging of the LPNPs (100 nm PLA–PEG–DSPE+89Zr) delivered intranasally via nasal tubing demonstrated increased activity in the brain after 1 and 2 h following intranasal drug delivery (INDD) compared to intravenous administration, which correlated with ex vivo gamma counting and autoradiography. Although assessment of delivery from nose to brain is a promising approach, the technology has several limitations that require further development. An experimental protocol for aerosolized intranasal delivery is presented herein, which may provide a platform for better targeting the olfactory epithelium.


This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/). The original article can be found in the journal pharmaceutics.