Designed proteinoid polymers and nanoparticles encapsulating risperidone for enhanced antipsychotic activity

L. Lugasi, I. Grinberg, S. Rudnick-Glick, E. Okun, H. Einat, S. Margel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Nanoparticles (NPs) incorporating drug formulations can be used to facilitate passage through biological barriers including the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and increase drug delivery and bioavailability. Hence, NP-based administration may enhance the efficiency of current antipsychotics. Encapsulation within NPs can resolve aqueous solubility problems that not only reduce permeability through the BBB but also affect targeting. The present study describes a new drug delivery system based on proteinoid NPs to explore the possibility of improving drug efficacy. Risperidone (RSP) is a commonly used atypical antipsychotic medication, and was therefore selected for encapsulation by proteinoid NPs. Results: Proteinoid polymers with high molecular weight and low polydispersity were synthesized from l-amino acids and poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) by thermal step-growth polymerization mechanism. RSP-loaded proteinoid NPs were then prepared using a self-assembly process in the presence of RSP, followed by PEGylation. The optimal PEGylated RSP-loaded NPs were characterized in terms of diameter and size distribution, drug loading, ζ-potential, cytotoxicity, biodistribution, and psychopharmacological effects. The findings indicate significantly higher antipsychotic activity of drug-loaded proteinoid NPs compared to free RSP. Conclusions: Proteinoid NPs enhance RSP delivery and may potentially increase drug efficiency by reducing dosage and side effects.[Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number149
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotic therapy
  • Drug delivery
  • Proteinoid nanoparticles
  • Risperidone
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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