Polymeric nanoparticle system to target activated microglia/macrophages in spinal cord injury

Simonetta Papa, Raffaele Ferrari, Massimiliano De Paola, Filippo Rossi, Alessandro Mariani, Ilaria Caron, Eliana Sammali, Marco Peviani, Valentina Dell'Oro, Claudio Colombo, Massimo Morbidelli, Gianluigi Forloni, Giuseppe Perale, Davide Moscatelli, Pietro Veglianese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The possibility to control the fate of the cells responsible for secondary mechanisms following spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most relevant challenges to reduce the post traumatic degeneration of the spinal cord. In particular, microglia/macrophages associated inflammation appears to be a self-propelling mechanism which leads to progressive neurodegeneration and development of persisting pain state. In this study we analyzed the interactions between poly(methyl methacrylate) nanoparticles (PMMA-NPs) and microglia/macrophages in vitro and in vivo, characterizing the features that influence their internalization and ability to deliver drugs. The uptake mechanisms of PMMA-NPs were in-depth investigated, together with their possible toxic effects on microglia/macrophages. In addition, the possibility to deliver a mimetic drug within microglia/macrophages was characterized in vitro and in vivo. Drug-loaded polymeric NPs resulted to be a promising tool for the selective administration of pharmacological compounds in activated microglia/macrophages and thus potentially able to counteract relevant secondary inflammatory events in SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Drug delivery
  • Macrophage
  • Microglia
  • Nanoparticle
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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