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Johan Agorelius

Doctoral Student

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Local delivery of minocycline-loaded PLGA nanoparticles from gelatin-coated neural implants attenuates acute brain tissue responses in mice


  • Alexander Dontsios Holmkvist
  • Johan Agorelius
  • Matilde Forni
  • Ulf J. Nilsson
  • Cecilia Eriksson Linsmeier
  • Jens Schouenborg

Summary, in English

Background: Neural interfaces often elicit inflammatory responses and neuronal loss in the surrounding tissue which adversely affect the function and longevity of the implanted device. Minocycline, an anti-inflammatory pharmaceutics with neuroprotective properties, may be used for reducing the acute brain tissue responses after implantation. However, conventional administration routes require high doses which can cause adverse systemic side effects. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a new drug-delivery-system for local and sustained administration of minocycline in the brain. Methods: Stainless steel needles insulated with Parylene-C were dip-coated with non-crosslinked gelatin and minocycline-loaded PLGA nanoparticles (MC-NPs) were incorporated into the gelatin-coatings by an absorption method and subsequently trapped by drying the gelatin. Parylene-C insulated needles coated only with gelatin were used as controls. The expression of markers for activated microglia (CD68), all microglia (CX3CR1-GFP), reactive astrocytes (GFAP), neurons (NeuN) and all cell nuclei (DAPI) surrounding the implantation sites were quantified at 3 and 7 days after implantation in mice. Results: MC-NPs were successfully incorporated into gelatin-coatings of neural implants by an absorption method suitable for thermosensitive drug-loads. Immunohistochemical analysis of the in vivo brain tissue responses, showed that MC-NPs significantly attenuate the activation of microglial cells without effecting the overall population of microglial cells around the implantation sites. A delayed but significant reduction of the astrocytic response was also found in comparison to control implants. No effect on neurons or total cell count was found which may suggest that the MC-NPs are non-toxic to the central nervous system. Conclusions: A novel drug-nanoparticle-delivery-system was developed for neural interfaces and thermosensitive drug-loads. The local delivery of MC-NPs was shown to attenuate the acute brain tissue responses nearby an implant and therefore may be useful for improving biocompatibility of implanted neuro-electronic interfaces. The developed drug-delivery-system may potentially also be used for other pharmaceutics to provide highly localized and therefore more specific effects as compared to systemic administration.


  • Neuronano Research Center (NRC)
  • Neurophysiology
  • Centre for Analysis and Synthesis
  • NanoLund: Center for Nanoscience

Publishing year





Journal of Nanobiotechnology





Document type

Journal article


BioMed Central (BMC)


  • Medical Materials


  • Biocompatibility
  • Brain
  • Drug-delivery-systems
  • Gelatin
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Minocycline
  • Nanoparticles
  • Neural interface
  • PLGA
  • Tissue responses



Research group

  • Neuronano Research Center (NRC)
  • Neurophysiology


  • ISSN: 1477-3155