Accessing the peripheral nervous system (PNS) by topically applied nanoparticles is a simple and novel approach with clinical applications in several PNS disorders. Skin is richly innervated by long peripheral axons that arise from cell bodies located distally within ganglia. In this study we attempt to target dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons, via their axons by topical application of lectin-functionalized gold nanoparticles (IB4-AuNP). In vitro, 140.2 ± 1.9 nm IB4-AuNP were found to bind both axons and cell bodies of DRG neurons, and AuNP applied at the axonal terminals were found to translocate to the cell bodies. Topical application of IB4-AuNP on rat hind-paw resulted in accumulation of three to fourfold higher AuNP in lumbar DRG than in contralateral control DRGs. Results from this study clearly suggest that topically applied nanoparticles with neurotropic targeting ligands can be utilized for delivering nanoparticles to neuronal cell bodies via axonal transport mechanisms.
N. Katiyar, Raju, G., Madhusudanan, P., Gopalakrishnan-Prema, V., and Dr. Sahadev Shankarappa, “Neuronal delivery of nanoparticles via nerve fibres in the skin.”, Sci Rep, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 2566, 2021.