Introduction: Thrombolysis with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the only FDA approved treatment for patients with acute ischemic stroke, but its use is limited by narrow therapeutic window, selective efficacy, and hemorrhagic complication. In the past two decades, extensive efforts have been undertaken to extend its therapeutic time window and explore alternative thrombolytic agents, but both show little progress. Nanotechnology has emerged as a promising strategy to improve the efficacy and safety of tPA. Areas covered: We reviewed the biology, thrombolytic mechanism, and pleiotropic functions of tPA in the brain and discussed current applications of various nanocarriers intended for the delivery of tPA for treatment of ischemic stroke. Current challenges and potential further directions of t-PA-based nanothrombolysis in stroke therapy are also discussed. Expert opinion: Using nanocarriers to deliver tPA offers many advantages to enhance the efficacy and safety of tPA therapy. Further research is needed to characterize the physicochemical characteristics and in vivo behavior of tPA-loaded nanocarriers. Combination of tPA based nanothrombolysis and neuroprotection represents a promising treatment strategy for acute ischemic stroke. Theranostic nanocarriers co-delivered with tPA and imaging agents are also promising for future stroke management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science