Evaluation of nasal delivery systems of olanzapine by desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging

Lihi Messer, Amani Zoabi, Ravit Yakobi, Hiba Natsheh, Elka Touitou*, Katherine Margulis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nose-to-brain delivery presents an attractive administration route for neuroactive drugs that suffer from compromised bioavailability or fail to pass the blood–brain barrier. However, the conventional gauge of effectiveness for intranasal delivery platforms primarily involves detecting the presence of the administered drug within the brain, with little insight into its precise localization within brain structures. This may undermine the therapeutic efficacy of drugs and hinder the design of systems that target specific brain regions. In this study, we designed two intranasal delivery systems for the antipsychotic drug, olanzapine, and evaluated its distribution in the rat brain following intranasal administration. The first evaluated system was an olanzapine-loaded microemulsion and the second one was nanoparticulate aqueous dispersion of olanzapine. Both systems exhibited characteristics that render them compatible for intranasal administration, and successfully delivered olanzapine to the brain. We further employed an ambient mass spectrometry imaging method, called desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging, to visualize the signal intensity of olanzapine in different brain regions following the intranasal administration of these two systems. Substantial variations in the distribution patterns of olanzapine across various brain structures were revealed, potentially highlighting the importance of mass spectrometry imaging in designing and evaluating intranasal drug delivery platforms.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number123664
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Intranasal delivery systems
  • Microemulsion
  • Nanoparticles
  • Olanzapine
  • Volatile microemulsion


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