A new therapeutic avenue for bronchiectasis: Dry powder inhaler of ciprofloxacin nanoplex exhibits superiorex vivomucus permeability and antibacterial efficacy to its native ciprofloxacin counterpart

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Graphical abstractNon-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (NCFB) characterized by permanent bronchial dilatation and recurrent infections has been clinically managed by long-term intermittent inhaled antibiotic therapy among other treatments. Herein we investigated dry powder inhaler (DPI) formulation of ciprofloxacin (CIP) nanoplex with mannitol/lactose as the excipient for NCFB therapy. The DPI of CIP nanoplex was evaluated against DPI of native CIP in terms of their (1) dissolution characteristics in artificial sputum medium, (2) ex vivo mucus permeability in sputum from NCFB and healthy individuals, (3) antibacterial efficacy in the presence of sputum against clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains (planktonic and biofilm), and (4) cytotoxicity towards human lung epithelial cells. Despite their similarly fast dissolution rates in sputum, the DPI of CIP nanoplex exhibited superior mucus permeability to the native CIP (5–7 times higher) attributed to its built-in ability to generate highly supersaturated CIP concentration in the sputum. The superior mucus permeability led to the CIP nanoplex's higher antibacterial efficacy (>3 log10 CFU/mL). The DPI of CIP nanoplex exhibited similar cytotoxicity towards the lung epithelial cells as the native CIP indicating its low risk of toxicity. These results established the promising potential of DPI of CIP nanoplex as a new therapeutic avenue for NCFB.

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