Issue 5, 2024

Nanoencapsulation of general anaesthetics


General anaesthetics are routinely used to sedate patients during prolonged surgeries and administered via intravenous injection and/or inhalation. All anaesthetics have short half-lives, hence the need for their continuous administration. This causes several side effects such as pain, vomiting, nausea, bradycardia, and on rare occasions death post-administration. Several clinical trials studied the synergetic effect of a combination of anaesthetic drugs to reduce the drug load. Another solution is to encapsulate anaesthetics in nanoparticles to reduce their dose and side effects as well as achieve their sustained release manner. Different types of nanoparticles were developed as carriers of intravenous and intrathecal anaesthetics generating platforms which facilitate drug transport across the blood–brain barrier (BBB). Nanocarriers encapsulating common anaesthetic drugs such as propofol, etomidate, and ketamine were developed and characterized in terms of size, stability, onset and duration of loss of right reflex, and tolerance to pain in small animal models. The review discusses the types of nanocarriers used to reduce the side effects of the anaesthetic drugs while prolonging the sedation time. More rigorous studies are still required to evaluate the nanocarrier formulations regarding their ability to deliver anaesthetic drugs across the BBB, safety, and finally applicability in clinical settings.

Graphical abstract: Nanoencapsulation of general anaesthetics

Article information

Article type
Review Article
17 Nov 2023
28 Jan 2024
First published
15 Feb 2024
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale Adv., 2024,6, 1361-1373

Nanoencapsulation of general anaesthetics

B. M. T. Abdoullateef, S. El-Din Al-Mofty and H. M. E. Azzazy, Nanoscale Adv., 2024, 6, 1361 DOI: 10.1039/D3NA01012K

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